FinCEN: Don’t Sweat PATRIOT Act

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.”

Kaptur acknowledged the rule has caused “a little bit of anxiety. 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 the industry.”

Kaptur recognized that 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.”

Also at the meeting, JVC announced that William Montalto, the newly appointed chief operating officer of Sterling Jewelers, will be the group’s new chairman of the board.