The highest ever civil penalty in Australia’s corporate history has been ordered against Tabcorp for non-compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).
The fine was ordered on 16 March 2017 by the Federal Court of Australia, which found that the gaming company contravened the AML/CTF Act on 108 occasions over more than five years.
Tabcorp failed to report suspicious matters to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) on time or at all on 105 occasions. Tabcorp conceded that these matters related to unlawful activity, including money laundering and credit card fraud.
The Court also found that Tabcorp failed to identify a customer who won $100,000, and failed to have a compliant AML/CTF program to manage the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing for over three years.
“Failing to uphold a robust AML/CTF program creates opportunities for serious and organised crime and terrorist groups to conceal the movement and use of illicit funds for attacks and crimes against Australian citizens,” said AUSTRAC CEO Paul Jevtovic.
Tabcorp admitted that it had insufficient resourcing and processes for consistent management oversight, assurance and operational execution of its AML/CTF program. However, Mr Jevtovic has praised the company’s response to AUSTRAC’s enforcement action. “We are very encouraged by the actions taken by Tabcorp in response to this investigation,” he said.
After court costs are factored in, the financial consequences of the proceedings for Tabcorp will amount to more than $90 million.
Bottom line for organisations
- Boards and senior managers in all industries should ensure they are fully informed of their AML/CTF responsibilities.
- For organisations regulated by AML/CTF legislation, it is vital to have an adequate AML/CTF program to mitigate the risk of your organisation being used to launder money through or transfer funds to finance terrorism.
- Make sure you have sufficient systems and education in place to identify and report suspicious matters to AUSTRAC.
Learning Seat offers an Anti-money Laundering Awareness elearning course. The course is designed to provide your workers a broad overview of money laundering and terrorism financing.
If you’re interested in rolling out AML Awareness training, please contact us to find out how we can help.