Cracking down on crypto money laundering

The Sacramento Bee (Published: December 19, 2022)

As California Democratic congressmembers rush to give away donations they received from disgraced cryptocurrency exec Sam Bankman-Fried, a California Republican state lawmaker has introduced a bill, AB 76, intended to close a loophole that she says allows financial assets to be laundered through crypto.

“California is a leader in consumer protection and ensuring our laws reflect the growing and innovative technology used for day-to-day transactions. This technology has continued to evolve to now include cryptocurrency,” said Assemblywoman Laurie Davies, R-Laguna Niguel, in a statement. “It should also be noted that as we have seen a rise in drug trafficking, nefarious organizations are using this type of currency to escape detection and continue their illegal activities in the underground markets. California law must evolve to keep up with the digital operating methods of financial criminal organizations.”

The bill comes as Bankman-Fried was arrested and accused of a series of federal crimes, including wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering. AB 76 is sponsored by the California Conference of Bar Associations.

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