Upcoming Executive Webinars
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COURSE NAME: Transnational Crime, Money laundering and Illicit Finance from Authoritarian States
COURSE DATE: October 12th – November 11th, 2021
TIME: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:00pm-5:00pm EST
WHERE: Zoom Webinar
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: October 5th, 2021
Online Course & Certificate
This online course on Transnational Crime, Money Laundering, and Illicit Finance from Authoritarian States will focus on understanding the differences in laundering between China and Post-Soviet states. Money-laundering from these authoritarian states is the subject of much legislation under consideration by Congress. This course will be taught by two internationally-recognized experts on AML/CFT, John Cassara (former US law enforcement Special Agent and author) and Lakshmi Kumar (Policy Director, Global Financial Integrity). David Luna (former U.S. State Department official) and Dr. Louise Shelley (University professor and Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Endowed Chair at the Schar School of Policy and International Affairs at George Mason University and founder and executive director of TraCCC) will also be guest instructors as well as Andrew McCabe, former deputy director of the FBI and possibly Michael Morrell, former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The instruction will be in “real time” where students login to the virtual class on GMU’s platform. The sessions will be recorded so that if students are unable to join live, they will be able to later review content. Students that successfully complete this executive development webinar will receive a certificate from the Anti-Illicit Trade Institute of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime, and Corruption Center (TraCCC), Schar School of Policy and Government.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated that money laundering comprises approximately 2 to 5 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) each year, or approximately $1.74 trillion to $4.35 trillion. The amount of illicit funds is steadily increasing. Dark money and finance pose direct threats to societal stability, governments, and the global financial system.
China is the factory to the world. It is a producer of both large amounts of licit commodities as well as illicit— including counterfeits, fentanyl and precursor chemicals for illicit narcotics. To help drive its economic growth, it is a major importer of illicitly harvested timber, IUU fish, rare-earth minerals and many other illegally obtained commodities. Therefore, it generates massive revenues from its participation in the licit and the illicit economies. Post-Soviet authoritarian states are not major producers of goods. Therefore, their involvement with trade-based money laundering (TBML) is confined primarily to natural resources and the transit of goods such as narcotics. Both China and Russia utilize cyber-criminal enterprises to target western governments and private sector entities in ways to advance the nations’ strategic interests. The proceeds from these crimes must be laundered.
Money laundering consists of hiding the proceeds of transnational crime as measured by predicate offenses or specified unlawful activities. Both the Organization for Economic Development and Global Financial Integrity have released influential reports examining the top sectors of transnational crime. In both reports, China figures prominently. China’s economy is based on production and trade and is now the world’s largest trading nation. Its role in illicit trade requires it to rely heavily on trade-based money laundering.
Although the numbers are not precise and, in some cases, do not exist, the bottom line is that a strong argument can be made that China is responsible for introducing and laundering approximately $1.5 – $2 trillion of illicit funds into the world’s economy every year as measured by predicate offenses. Another way of looking at the magnitude of the problem is that approximately one-half of the total amount of money laundered worldwide is of Chinese origin. China also provides money laundering services to the Mexican drug cartels and have developed their own laundering methodologies.
In 2021 the U.S. Department of State calls “The People’s Republic of China (PRC) a global hub for money laundering.” According to an Atlantic Council Report, Russia has the world’s largest volume of dark money hidden abroad—about $1 trillion—both in absolute terms and as a percentage of its national GDP.
For many reasons, including a lack of linguistic capacity and cultural understanding, there are a limited number of criminal investigations and criminal cases of Chinese and Post-Soviet transnational crime that follow the money and value trails. Unfortunately, these investigations are hindered as these countries consistently fail to cooperate with other countries in resolving cross-border money laundering and other financial crimes.
Just as international trade in the past helped China develop a sophisticated system of underground banking, China along with Russia is a world leader in “new payment” systems of transferring money and value including but not confined to cryptocurrencies. Many observers believe Chinese and Post-Soviet involvement in illicit trade is encouraged or tolerated to help achieve state ambitions. This course will ask the question: Is transnational crime (and resulting money laundering) a form of asymmetric warfare of authoritarian states?
Course Highlights and Features
This is the first known academic course that examines authoritarian states’ role in international money laundering.
This course will focus on Chinese and Post-Soviet illicit trade, money laundering and illicit finance. At the same time, it will provide information on understanding how money laundering works, current issues, trends and methodologies used by today’s bad actors. It will contrast the forms of Chinese money laundering with that used in the post-Soviet successor states.
Post-Soviet states have TBML tied almost entirely to natural resources, drugs, illicit tobacco and human trafficking whereas Chinese are involved involvement in all these forms of illicit trade and in addition, counterfeit goods, state-sponsored intellectual property rights violations, and trade fraud.
Chinese centric enablers for money laundering include underground banking, “flying money,” investment in real estate, casinos, state-sponsored identify theft, bribery and corruption, the use of offshore secrecy jurisdictions, and others.
The instructors will share practical insights on what works and what does not by examining effective international standards such as those by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), AML measures, best practices, and case studies in detecting and preventing the laundering of dirty money. This course will also focus on TBML, underground financial systems, free trade zones (FTZs), black market exchanges, new payment methods, and other illicit finance processes, vehicles and methods that enable bad actors to disguise and clean their dirty money.
The training webinar is designed for professionals in all public and private sectors and industries impacted by illicit finance and China and other authoritarian states.
Topics covered in this five-week course over 10 sessions including the following:
I. Introduction to Transnational Crime, Money laundering and Illicit Finance from Authoritarian States Context and Perspective; Dr. Louise Shelley and Andrew McCabe.
II. Chinese and Post-Soviet Illicit Trade as Predicate Offenses for Money Laundering; John Cassara
III. Enablers of Money Laundering from Authoritarian States; John Cassara
IV: Trade-based Money Laundering and Illicit Financial Flows with a Comparison of China with other Regions; Lakshmi Kumar
V: Chinese and Post-Soviet New Payment Methods including the digital yuan, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Underground Banking, and Flying Money; John Cassara
VI: Global Trade and Free Trade Zones with a Focus on China and Post-Soviet states; Lakshmi Kumar
VII. Corruption and Money Laundering into Real Estate (Dirty Money) with a Focus on China and Post-Soviet investment in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K., and other locales; David Luna, Lakshmi Kumar, and Dr. Louise Shelley
VIII. Transnational Crime and Fentanyl and Chinese money laundering for Mexican cartels, Northern Drug Route out of Afghanistan through Central Asia and Russia; Dr. Louise Shelley
IX: Chinese Mercantilism, Exploitation, and the Creation of Debt Traps; John Cassara
X: Practical exercises and discussion; all instructors
60 minutes per session; two sessions per week for five weeks. Fall 2021
About the Instructors
John Cassara began his 26-year government career as a covert intelligence officer during the Cold War. He later served as a Treasury Special Agent in both the U.S. Secret Service and US Customs Service where he investigated money laundering, trade fraud, and international smuggling. He was an undercover arms dealer for two years. Assigned overseas in the Middle East, he developed expertise in money laundering, value transfer, and underground financial systems. He also worked six years for the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and was detailed to the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. Mr. Cassara’s final assignment was with the Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). Since his retirement, he has lectured in the United States and around the world on a variety of transnational crime issues. He has been a consultant for government and industry, and is currently on the Board of Directors of Global Financial Integrity. Mr. Cassara has authored and co-authored several articles and books. His latest publications include Trade Based Money Laundering: The Next Frontier in International Money Laundering Enforcement (Wiley 2016) and Money Laundering and Illicit Financial Flows: Following the Money and Value Trails (Amazon/KDP 2020). More information is available at www.JohnCassara.com.
Lakshmi Kumar is the Policy Director at Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank specializing in research, advocacy, and advisory services. Ms. Kumar works on issues of illicit finance and trade, and the vehicles, systems, and institutions that facilitate movement of illicit money across borders. She has spoken as a subject matter expert on issues including illicit gold trade, trade-based money laundering, kleptocracies, the abuse of anonymous shell companies, and the integrity risks of Sovereign Wealth Funds. Ms. Kumar has spoken publicly on these subjects at Capitol Hill, the OECD, the Atlantic Council, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and various other think tanks in D.C., as well as venues in Africa and South America. As a legal expert, she has contributed through her authorship to reports of institutions including the United National Economic Commission of Africa and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Prior to joining GFI, Ms. Kumar was a lawyer and policy professional in India, working with governments and regulatory agencies across South Asia, East Africa, and Eurasia to investigate money laundering and terrorist financing risks in their financial systems.
COURSE NAME: Investigating and Prosecuting Counterfeit and Pirated Goods (and E-Commerce Illicit Trade)
COURSE DATE: October 19th – November 18th, 2021
TIME: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30pm-6:30pm EST
WHERE: Zoom Webinar
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: October 12th, 2021
Online Course & Certificate
This online course on Investigating and Prosecuting Counterfeit and Pirated Goods (and E-Commerce Illicit Trade) is taught by two internationally recognized experts on investigating and prosecuting intellectual property crimes, John H. Zacharia (Founder of Zacharia Law PLLC; Former Assistant Deputy Chief for Litigation of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division; and Professorial Lecturer in Law at George Washington University Law School) and Steve K. Francis (Deputy Executive Associate Director of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center). The instruction will be in “real time” where students login to the virtual class on George Mason University’s platform. Students who successfully complete this executive development webinar will receive a certificate from the Anti-Illicit Trade Institute of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime, and Corruption Center (TraCCC), Schar School of Policy and Government.
The illicit trade in counterfeit and pirated goods poses major challenges to the global economy and to the health and safety of consumers. Criminal enterprises manufacture, reproduce and traffic in millions of counterfeit and pirated goods every year, generating billions of dollars in illicit proceeds from the sale of such illegal goods. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), trade in counterfeit and pirated goods constituted 2.5% of world trade in 2019 (worth $464 billion).
Counterfeiting and piracy impacts almost every industry – from counterfeit pharmaceuticals, luxury goods, and consumer products to pirated music, motion pictures, software, and more. In addition, the problem of trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods is not limited to goods trafficked in physical marketplaces – the problem is pervasive in digital marketplaces too. Just as the growing e-commerce sector has generated enormous opportunities for the global economy, online intellectual property (IP) crime has similarly evolved. IP criminals have used the borderless nature of the internet to make it harder for law enforcement agencies responsible for combating IP crimes to enforce the law. Further, constant innovation in technology makes it more difficult to track down evidence of IP criminal activity. Darknet hidden services are becoming more attractive for criminals, including online IP criminals, further complicating the process of identifying suspects and collecting evidence. And the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the illicit trade in counterfeit goods in particular.
Course Highlights and Features:
This course examines how criminal trafficking in goods bearing counterfeit trademarks and criminal copyright infringement (piracy) works, current issues, trends, and techniques used by today’s bad actors. The course will begin with an examination of the laws Congress enacted to combat these intellectual property crimes. Students will learn about the statutes, policies, principles, standards, and rules governing the investigation and prosecution of intellectual property crime cases. Then we will address how criminal copyright and criminal trademark counterfeiting cases are investigated and prosecuted in the United States. In doing so, we will explore why the successful investigation and prosecution of such cases increasingly requires cooperation and coordination with other countries. We will also walk through both actual and hypothetical cases in each of these areas. Finally, we will address how federal judges impose sentences and order both forfeiture and restitution in intellectual property crime cases.
The training webinar is aimed at professionals in all sectors and industries impacted by the illicit trade in counterfeit and pirated goods.
Topics covered in this five-week course over 10 sessions include the following:
Week 1 (Oct. 19 and 21)
I. Cross-Border Harms Posed by Counterfeit and Pirated Goods (The IP Threat Environment Today and Across the Digital World)
II. Felony and Misdemeanor Criminal Copyright Infringement
Week 2 (Oct. 26 and 28)
III. How to Prove Criminal Copyright Cases and the Problem of Darknet Hidden Services
IV. Criminal Trademark Counterfeiting and How Brand Owners Can Work with Law Enforcement
Week 3 (Nov. 2 and 5)
V. How to Prove Criminal Trademark Counterfeiting Cases, the Impact of E-Commerce, and Navigating the Gray Market
VI. Hypothetical and Actual Intellectual Property Crime Cases
Week 4 (Nov. 9 and 11)
VII. Building an Investigation and the Problem of Intellectual Property Infringement in a Global Environment – Part I
VIII. Building an Investigation and the Problem of Intellectual Property Infringement in a Global Environment – Part II
Week 5 (Nov. 16 and 18)
IX. Sentencing in Intellectual Property Criminal Cases
X. Asset Forfeiture in Intellectual Property Criminal Cases
Throughout the five weeks, students will be challenged to work through hypothetical and actual case studies to understand better what types of evidence must be collected to prove the legal elements of the federal laws that criminally prohibit the trafficking in counterfeit goods and the reproduction and distribution of infringing copies of copyright works.
About the Instructors:
John H. Zacharia is the Founder of Zacharia Law PLLC, a law firm dedicated to helping clients combat cyber theft and protect and enforce their intellectual property rights. Previously, as the Assistant Deputy Chief for Litigation of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) of the United States Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, John was responsible for supervising all of the intellectual property and cybercrime prosecutions by the Section’s 40 attorneys. In his 12 years at CCIPS, John became one of the most experienced federal prosecutors of intellectual property (IP) crime in the country. Notably, John prosecuted and obtained jury verdicts in one of the largest counterfeit goods prosecutions in U.S. history, and he successfully argued and defended the convictions before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. John also secured a number of “first of its kind” convictions, including the first-ever conviction and sentencing of a cyberlocker operator, and the first-ever prosecution and conviction for criminal copyright infringement of mobile device applications (“apps”). John is a globally recognized expert in intellectual property law and policy, having worked directly with and trained law enforcement officials from over sixty countries and presented to a variety of international fora across the globe, including the European Union, Interpol, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conferences, Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) conferences, and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Before joining CCIPS, John was a trial attorney with the Federal Programs Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, where he personally handled several significant IP cases of first impression, including cases in which he successfully defended against challenges to the constitutionality of the Copyright Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. John has authored and co-authored several articles and studies in the area of intellectual property. Most recently, John co-authored an article entitled “Congress’s Proposed E-Commerce Legislation for Regulation of Third-Party Sellers: Why It’s Needed and How Congress Should Make It Better” (published by the University of California-Davis Business Law Journal) and co-authored a study entitled “International Judicial Cooperation in Intellectual Property Cases (published by the European Union Intellectual Property Office). John currently teaches Intellectual Property Criminal Law at the George Washington University School of Law. More information is available at www.zacharialaw.com.
Steve K. Francis is the Deputy Executive Associate Director of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the former Director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. In this position, he is responsible for the oversight of HSI’s national programs related to trade enforcement, intellectual property, and counter proliferation.
Prior to this assignment, from August 2017 through May 2019, Mr. Francis served as the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) for HSI Detroit with an area of responsibility that included the states of Michigan and Ohio. In this position, Mr. Francis was responsible for overseeing more than 220 law enforcement agents, intelligence analysts and professional administrative staff throughout Michigan and Ohio. The law enforcement personnel were charged with investigating over 400 violations of U.S. laws in furtherance of promoting Homeland Security, Public Safety and Border Security.
Preceding his appointment, Mr. Francis served in several critical managerial positions. As the Deputy SAC, Mr. Francis was responsible for managing and directing all investigative operations within Michigan and Ohio. As the Assistant SAC, Mr. Francis was the administrative overseer of HSI Detroit’s Certified Undercover Operation and maintained operational oversight of four criminal investigative groups comprised of law enforcement officers from local, state, federal and foreign task force officers.
Mr. Francis holds a bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University. More information available at www.iprcenter.gov.