- Associated Press - Thursday, March 16, 2017

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - An Australian court on Thursday fined gambling company Tabcorp a record 45 million Australian dollars ($35 million) for failing to comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing obligations.

The Federal Court approved a settlement reached between the Sydney-based company and regulator AUSTRAC after finding Tabcorp breached Australia’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 108 times over five years.

Tabcorp did not have an adequate program to monitor the risk for three years and failed to report to AUSTRAC suspicious matters relating to money laundering and credit card fraud on time or at all on 105 occasions.

“This was a serious failure in the corporate governance and the size of the penalty reflects a significant and extensive noncompliance,” AUSTRAC chief executive Paulo Jevtovic told reporters.

“In my view, the noncompliance arises from a corporate culture that is indifferent to money laundering and terrorism financing requirements,” he added.

Tabcorp had taken important steps to improve its compliance, Jevtovic said.

Tabcorp chief executive David Attenborough said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange that the company was committed to working cooperatively with AUSTRAC in the future.

“We have made significant investment in enhancing our … compliance over the past three years and remain focused on being the industry leader in regulatory compliance across all or our operations,” Attenborough said.

The court action contributed to at 28 percent fall in half -year profit to AU$59 million announced last month.

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