Micah Schwalb

Adjunct Faculty

401 UCB
2450 Kittredge Loop Drive
Wolf Law Building
Boulder, CO  80309
E-mail: micah.schwalb@colorado.edu


Micah counsels financial institutions on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism finance rules administered by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and other financial intelligence regulators. His efforts extend to banks, broker-dealers, registered investment advisers, money services businesses, casinos, futures commission merchants, introducing brokers in commodities, and precious metals dealers, as well as non-financial corporations seeking advice on legal risks associated with money laundering that can occur in their day-to-day operations.

Micah has designed new AML compliance programs, enhanced existing programs, defended internal and external audits, and advised clients on the implementation of surveillance systems. He has interacted with regulators on behalf of clients, helped a global investment bank to navigate legal regulatory conflicts in multiple jurisdictions, conducted enterprise risk assessments, and designed internal controls for novel financial products. Finally, he has advised venture-backed companies on the financial risks associated with investments made by politically-exposed persons.

Micah has also conducted training in multiple jurisdictions; designed and implemented risk-based compliance initiatives; been responsible for integrating compliance functions, systems, policies, and procedures; and advised clients on filing suspicious activity reports. His efforts have also extended to helping compliance operations functions with respect to government sanctions, government reporting/record keeping, licensing in multiple regions/countries, and compliance systems, processes, and procedures. Micah also helps companies with internal investigations. In addition, Micah has developed global strategies and maintained and developed key external regulatory relationships across the United States. He has strong conceptual and planning skills, advanced compliance expertise and the ability to manage in a highly diversified, changing environment enforcing shared responsibility for outcomes.

Micah's prior AML-related engagements are as follows:

  • Served as lead associate on all AML-related compliance engagements for an AmLaw 50 law firm on a global basis.
  • Helped a bitcoin-focused software company tailor its business model and product to guidance issued by FinCEN, the CFTC, and state regulators.
  • Advised a global financial institution (NYSE) regarding all aspects of anti-money laundering and anti-bribery compliance for its North and South American subsidiaries, including broker-dealers, investment advisers, provisionally-registered swap dealers, investment bankers, introducing brokers in commodities, futures commission merchants, trust companies, and residential mortgage loan originators. Specific responsibilities included:
    • preparing guidance on complex legal issues arising from the interpretation and application of statutes, regulations, rules, and guidance administered and examined by FinCEN, the SEC, FINRA, the CFTC, the NFA, and foreign regulators;
    • creating or enhancing policies and procedures used to implement new legal requirements; and
    • addressing novel issues posed by direct market access, omnibus accounts, Exchange Act requirements, OFAC sanctions, the FCPA, the UK Bribery Act, the EU Privacy Directive, beneficial ownership, surveillance, record-keeping, and suspicious activity reporting;
  • Helped a publicly-traded (NYSE), OCC-regulated bank with the creation of a BSA-compliant escrow product tailored to the requirements of the USCIS EB-5 immigrant investor program;
  • Assisted a variety of registered investment advisers with AML program compliance;
  • Counseled several regulated businesses on the implications of Operation Choke Point, legalization of marijuana in Colorado, IRS Form 8300, and virtual currency;
  • Defended a gaming company against a BSA-focused audit conducted by the IRS;
  • Helping a state-owned arms manufacturer investigate and assess money laundering risk in connection with a proposed nine-figure cross-border sale of ammunition from the Middle East to the United States;
  • Advised a quick service national restaurant franchisor on AML compliance issues raised by its electronic stored value card; and
  • Training members of the farm credit system on money laundering risks presented by rural businesses.
  • In addition, Micah has also published or presented on a variety of AML-related topics, including the following:

    The Marijuana Conflict, Presentation Before the Colorado Chapter of the Association of Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (Aug. 17, 2016).

    FinCEN's Final Rule: Customer Due Diligence Requirements for Financial Institutions, Presentation Before the Colorado Chapter of the Association of Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (June 8, 2016).

    Recent Developments in Anti-Money Laundering Compliance, Presentation before the Colorado Bar Association (Mar. 18, 2015).

    Marijuana in Colorado: A Case Study, Presentation Before the 2015 Anti-Money Laundering Conference of the Florida International Banker's Association (Feb. 2015).

    USA PATRIOT Act/AML Update: FinCEN Issues Long-Awaited Proposed Regulations Regarding Beneficial Ownership Disclosure, GREENBERG TRAURIG ALERT (Aug. 2014) (with Carl Fornaris, et. Al).