You Have Discovered A Crime; Now What?


Originally published in Bank News, February 2013.

Mary, your trusted employee, has embezzled money from your bank. Or, Bryan, a long-time customer, has used a deposit account at your bank to defraud his employer (and maybe his employer’s customers). You have just started to put the pieces together after that initial gut-wrenching admission that it looks as though the worst has happened. You ask yourself, “Okay, now what do I do?”

The first thing to consider is whether a Suspicious Activity Report is required. The obligation to file a SAR with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network may depend on (1) who committed the crime and (2) the dollar amount involved. In the case of Mary, the bank insider, there is no dollar threshold to your reporting obligation. Whenever a depository institution detects a known or suspected federal criminal violation (against the depository institution or involving transactions conducted through it) and there is reason to believe that a director, officer, employee, agent or other institution-affiliated party has committed or assisted in the commission of the crime, a SAR must be filed, regardless of the dollar amount involved.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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