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Category Archives: Anti-Money Laundering

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Anti-Money Laundering, Compliance

FinCEN Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Andorran Bank as “Primary Money Laundering Concern”

On March 10, 2015, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) named Banca Privada d’Andorra (BPA) a foreign financial institution of “primary money laundering concern,” a measure that will prohibit BPA from engaging in transactions with the U.S. financial system. Along with this announcement, FinCEN issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which will require… Continue Reading
Anti-Money Laundering

Mind the Red Flags – FinCEN Issues Penalty for Failure to File SARs on Director’s Suspicious Activity

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently penalized First National Community Bank (FNCB) $1.5 million for failing to file suspicious activity reports (SARs) despite the existence of significant red flags. As described in FinCEN’s Feb. 27, 2015, press release, the accounts in question were controlled by Michael Conahan, a member of FNCB’s… Continue Reading
Anti-Money Laundering, Fraud, Deception and False Claims

Don’t Turn a Blind Eye – Individual Liability for Failure to Comply with BSA Reporting Requirements

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced on August 20, 2014, that it had reached an agreement with a casino official permanently barring him from working in financial institutions as a result of his willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). The individual in question, Mr. George Que, assisted high-end customers in avoiding detection… Continue Reading
Anti-Money Laundering, Compliance

How far does the SAR privilege extend? It depends on which court you ask.

Financial institutions know that suspicious activity reports (SARs) and information that would reveal a SAR’s existence may not be disclosed except under specific, limited circumstances. However, when you’re facing a civil discovery request, deciphering exactly what falls within the privilege can be a challenge. Take one recent decision from the Court of Appeals of the… Continue Reading
Anti-Money Laundering, Financial Institution Regulation, Fraud, Deception and False Claims

The CFPB and BSA/AML Compliance – Can the CFPB Properly Request a SAR?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has made waves lately, applying increased scrutiny to areas such as auto lending and account fees for college-student banking. Given the CFPB’s wide license to oversee and enforce the consumer financial laws, financial institutions may be wondering where the CFPB will move next. The CFPB holds broad authority, and… Continue Reading
Anti-Money Laundering, Compliance, Fraud, Deception and False Claims

SARs and Confidentiality – When Law Enforcement and Regulators Come Calling

Financial institutions often encounter suspicious transactions that warrant the filing of a suspicious activity report (“SAR”).  When this occurs, the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and federal regulations specifically prohibit the unauthorized disclosure of the SAR, or any information that may reveal the existence of the SAR. This confidentiality requirement may place certain employees, especially those… Continue Reading
Anti-Bribery and Corruption, Anti-Money Laundering, Compliance, Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Financial Institution Regulation

The Financial Services Authority continues its thematic reviews into anticorruption compliance – now it is the turn of asset managers

So far, since the Bribery Act came into force on 1st July 2011, the largest fines have been dished out by the FSA, which regulates the financial services sector in the UK, rather than by the courts… Continue Reading
Anti-Money Laundering

Integrating Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Fraud Efforts

Recent statements from the federal government’s top anti-money laundering (AML) official make clear that the government views AML and anti-fraud as necessarily intertwined.  Banks and other financial institutions ignore this fact at their own peril.  John Byrne and Chris Swecker hit the nail on the head when they wrote earlier this year that banks should… Continue Reading
Anti-Money Laundering

Florida Court Finds Redaction Insufficient to Protect Confidentiality of SAR Investigation

A recent case in Florida provides an excellent reminder of the confidentiality restrictions that govern the release of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) (pdf). By way of background, the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) prohibits banks and other financial institutions from notifying any person involved in a suspicious transaction that the transaction has been reported. When a… Continue Reading
Anti-Money Laundering, Fraud, Deception and False Claims

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Treasury Department Expands Information Sharing Program

On February 10, 2010, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, issued new regulations to allow foreign law enforcement agencies, as well as state and local law enforcement agencies, to obtain certain information from banks and other “financial institutions,” as that term is defined by the Bank… Continue Reading
Anti-Money Laundering, Fraud, Deception and False Claims

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: SAR Filings Show Increases for Suspected Check Fraud

On January 22, 2010, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) reported that filings of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) during the first six months of 2009 for check fraud increased for all of the industries required to file SARs under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), as compared to the first six months of 2008. For example,… Continue Reading

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