Monday 27. June, 2016

Tabcorp Files Defense Against AUSTRAC Charges

Australian gambling operator, Tabcorp, has filed its defense in response to an amended civil suit brought against it by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

Tabcorp was accused of an additional 61 money laundering breaches in the amended suit and last week it filed a defense against the charges by the anti-money laundering compliance watchdog in order to prove its innocence.

Chief executive of AUSTRAC, Paul Jevtovic, stated that after a “long and comprehensive assessment” the watchdog found that Tabcorp had failed to improve its standards or compliance in taking sufficient precaution against money laundering and terrorism financing.

Australian law requires financial services companies and gambling operators to proactively monitor customer accounts to ensure they are not being used for the purposes of organised crime or terrorism funding.

AUSTRAC had accused Tabcorp of contravening its reporting obligations a total of 236 times, leading to potential money laundering crimes. According to AUSTRAC these breaches facilitated large scale money laundering by crime syndicates and provided an opportunity to compromise the integrity of the financial system.

Tabcorp presented evidence to contest many of the accusations with the exception of allegations that relate to its NSW business failing to be enrolled as a reporting entity in the required timeframe; its NSW and Victorian businesses not lodging specific suspicious matter reports; failings in Tabcorp’s previous AML/CTF program and its NSW business not conducting sufficient verification of a specific customer in one of its retail venues.

Tabcorp has announced its intention to file a response relating to the total amended statement of claims that AUSTRAC lodged. The national Justice set a hearing date which is currently scheduled to commence in June 2017.

The maximum penalty for Tabcorp could be as high as $17 million.


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