Treasury official addresses PATRIOT Act concerns At JVC luncheon

The industry should not fear the new anti-money laundering rules in the PATRIOT Act, Joshua Kaptur, a regulatory policy specialist with the Treasury Department’s FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) division told the Jewelers Vigilance Committee’s annual luncheon.

“The consensus in the international community is that [the jewelry] industry warrants regulation,” he said. “It is vulnerable to terrorist financing. The purpose of these rules is to safeguard all of us.”

He acknowledged the rule has caused “a little bit of anxiety, as there should be. It’s a new rule and no one knows how it will play out.”

But he said the industry shouldn’t worry.

“A lot of these practices are things that people are already doing to avoid being defrauded,” he said. “This is not a gotcha game. We want to help the industry comply with this new rule. The name of the game is education. We look forward to continuing our communication with you.”

He acknowledged overseas suppliers had expressed concern that the rule discriminates against them.

“FinCEN will not be able to give a pass to any foreign jurisdictions,” he asked “Will someone who has a great relationship with someone in Israel still deal with that person? We believe they will.”

Diring the luncheon, Bill Montalto, the chief operating officer of Sterling Jewelers, was named the group’s new chairman of the board.