Former Prosecutor: Tech Has Mixed Impact on Financial Crimes

May 14, 2018, 12:00 PM

Technology’s effect on fraud and nefarious finance has been mixed, making it easier for bad actors to pursue their activities. Yet it also offers investigators and law enforcement more powerful tools.Lev Dassin, partner atCleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton, has led prosecution teams in several high-profile cases. He shared his insight on how tech is changing the financial crimes playing field.

Hear more from Dassin at the 2018 Bloomberg Law Leadership Forum on May 23 in New York, where corporate counsel from Fortune 500 businesses and leaders from top law firms will gather to discuss trends in trade, regulation, and technology.

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How do big data and predictive analytics affect the risks international corporations face under the False Claims Act, and how would you counsel corporate management in that regard?

With increasing amounts of data and information flowing throughout a company, including among vendors and other third parties, it has become increasingly difficult for corporations to detect potentially fraudulent activity. Predictive analytics can be used to analyze vast amounts of data to help identify potentially problematic conduct that would otherwise be difficult to find through more conventional means. To be truly effective, such analytics must be a part of a “top-down” culture of robust compliance, specifically tailored to the risks a given company confronts, and the subject of continuous vigilance.

What is the most significant impact of changing technology on enforcement of anti-money laundering statutes and compliance with economic sanctions?

The most significant impact may be that the rapid expansion of technologies used to facilitate global financial transactions has also led to a corresponding increase in the risks of new ways to engage in money laundering and sanctions violations around the world. Sophisticated multinational companies focused on this risk have turned to technological solutions to help manage it. Not surprisingly, another significant development is the use of improving technologies to detect potential money laundering and sanctions violations.

What role, if any, is AI technology likely to play in conducting investigations and what challenges will this pose for continuing professional education in the legal profession?

Artificial intelligence is now being deployed both to identify and escalate the response to potentially problematic conduct, as well as to more effectively investigate such conduct once it has occurred. For example, AI is now used to identify communications and other data that reflect misconduct, and it can continue to become more effective as its sophistication grows. As the technology improves, so will its uses.

Currently, it is important to carefully consider how best to use AI based on the specific legal and factual issues, as well as the types of data involved. AI, if used appropriately, can provide significant efficiencies and cost savings for clients, so it is clearly a critical component of the investigator’s toolkit. And, of course, it will be important for enforcement lawyers to be familiar with best practices for the use of AI in investigations, both because of those efficiencies and cost savings, and because clients will demand it.


For the 4th year, theBloomberg Law Leadership Forumis the premier event for legal industry leaders to gain insights and discuss how global economic and regulatory changes impact their business.

The 2018 Forum features an update on current regulatory priorities, a look at where corporate risk is rising, and an exploration of the technology and management tools legal counsel need to respond effectively.

Click here to request an invitation to the 2018 Bloomberg Law Leadership Forum.

Leadership Forum Speakers Include:

  • Chairman Jay Clayton , U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein , U.S. Department of Justice

  • Marcy Cohen , Managing Director and Chief Legal Officer, ING Americas

  • Noah Perlman , ‎Global Head of Financial Crimes, Morgan Stanley

  • Katherine Choo , Chief Investigative & Anti-Corruption Counsel, GE

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