Federal Court approves US$293.4m settlement between Crown and AUSTRAC

The fine is the largest ever imposed by AUSTRAC.
The fine is the largest ever imposed by AUSTRAC.

The penalty is for breaches of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006.

Australia.- The Federal Court has granted approval for the AU$450m (US$293.4m) settlement between Crown Resorts and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). Crown will make staggered payments over the next two years, with no interest to be incurred.

During the court hearing, Justice Michael Lee expressed concerns about the extended payment schedule, which allows Crown to make staggered payments over two years without incurring interest on later instalments. However, Lee noted that AUSTRAC retains the liberty to seek a variation of the payment terms if Crown’s financial position undergoes a significant change.

Crown Resorts had previously cautioned that it would face “significant financial hardship” if compelled to make an immediate payment of the full settlement. It expects a loss of AU$390m for the current financial year.

The settlement between Crown Resorts and AUSTRAC was reached in May, following a series of inquiries that found Crown unfit to hold a casino licence in any state where it operates. The investigations were triggered by 2019 reports of alleged misconduct. 

AUSTRAC has also initiated civil penalty proceedings against Star Entertainment for alleged non-compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.

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