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Virtual currency is increasingly used in human and drug trafficking, according to our review of agency records and interviews with officials.
Agencies we examined face challenges countering illicit use of virtual currency.
We reviewed how transnational criminal organizations and terrorist groups traffic goods such as illegal drugs, engage in human trafficking, and launder money. We also looked at the information sharing used to help detect these activities.
Some criminal groups use a process called trade-based money laundering to hide their illicit funds. These schemes can include things like falsely describing goods and services in trade transactions.
Schemes can involve many types of illicit activity that cut across multiple federal agencies' roles.
This publication supersedes GAO-18-626G, Financial Audit Manual: Volume 3, June 2018. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) maintain the GAO/CIGIE Financial Audit Manual (FAM).
In enforcing regulations, federal agencies use fines to punish willful violators and to deter future violations. However, if these fines aren't regularly adjusted for inflation, they may become less effective as a deterrent.
Each year GAO reports on federal programs with fragmented, overlapping, or duplicative goals or actions and ways to reduce costs or boost revenue. We identified 112 new actions that Congress and agencies could take to address these findings—e.g.