FinCEN Spotlights Victories Triggered by BSA Reports

Responding to industry concerns that their Bank Secrecy Act reporting goes unread or unused, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network yesterday spotlighted six law enforcement cases in which prosecutors made effective use of BSA data to win.

The inaugural Law Enforcement Awards were conceived as a way to show financial institutions that their reports are not “going into a black hole,” FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery said at the ceremony. “Institutions spend a great deal of money and time to comply with their regulatory requirements, and so it is understandable that they want to know that their efforts are paying off.”

The cases were a Ponzi scheme in Boston broken by Suspicious Activity Reports for relatively small-dollar activities, a transnational money laundering ring identified by reports on multiple businesses writing checks to each other, international drug trafficking activity flagged by reports of structured deposits, a digital currency provider identified as a money launderer based on reports of suspicious funds transfers, a government bribery case broken by a single BSA report on one subject of investigation and a Pakistani Taliban supporter flagged by SARs on suspicious transfers.

Although FinCEN did not publicly identify the financial institutions involved in reporting the activity in these cases, it did share information about the successful cases with the institutions whose reports were used. Read more.