Bank Secrecy Act

The Bank Secrecy Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1970 to detect and prevent money laundering within financial institutions. The BSA requires financial institutions to keep records and provide... more +
The Bank Secrecy Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1970 to detect and prevent money laundering within financial institutions. The BSA requires financial institutions to keep records and provide documentation to authorities for single transactions of more than $10,000 and report other suspicious account activity that could signify money laundering or other financial crimes. less -
News & Analysis as of

Display of FinCEN’s Aggressive Anti-Laundering Approach

On April 21, 2015, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued a geographic targeting order, an anti-money laundering device focused on trade-based money laundering schemes used by drug cartels,...more

AML Compliance Developments in the Gaming Industry

Executives of regulated entities often lament that fulfilling compliance obligations interferes with their ability to operate their business. However, an extensive (and extended) regulator investigation with the potential for...more

Swiss Bank Settlements-What's Next for U.S. Taxpayer's?

The Department of Justice has released the signed Non-Prosecution Agreement NPA) with Swiss bank BSI SA. The Non-Prosecution Agreement is likely the precursor to enhanced enforcement efforts by the DOJ and IRS against those...more

Austin City Limits and Asking Questions to Boost Your Compliance Program

Bill Arhos died recently. While his name is not a household word across the country, his progeny certainly is for he was the founder of the longest running live musical show on PBS television Austin City Limits. As was noted...more

Operation Chokepoint Yields Deals With Two California Banks

Why it matters - A pair of settlements between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and two California banks recently demonstrated that Operation Chokepoint is alive and well. CommerceWest Bank agreed to pay $4.9 million to...more

Bank Settles Criminal Bank Secrecy Act and Civil Fraud Charges Arising from Its Inadequate Anti-Money Laundering Program

On March 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a $4.9 million settlement of criminal and civil charges against CommerceWest Bank (“CommerceWest” or the “Bank”) brought pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act...more

FinCEN Assesses $75,000 Penalty Against Check Casher Business for Violating Anti-Money Laundering Laws

On March 18, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) assessed a $75,000 civil money penalty against a Colorado check casher and its general manager and ordered it to cease all business activities for “willfully...more

DOJ Announces Two More ‘Operation Choke Point’ Settlements

With the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that it had settled separate lawsuits against two small banks charged with facilitating consumer fraud through their relationships with third-party payment...more

Corporate Investigations & White Collar Defense - March 2015

The SEC’s Settlement with Goodyear: A Cautionary Tale - Why it matters: In a settlement announced on February 24, 2015, the SEC found Goodyear to be in violation of the FCPA in connection with bribes paid by two...more

New York DFS Takes Action Against Bank for BSA/AML Compliance Deficiencies

On March 12, the New York DFS issued a consent order against a Germany-based global bank for alleged Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) compliance violations that occurred between 2002 and 2008....more

IRS Will Adopt “Common Sense” Approach To Structured Activity In Bank Accounts

Why it matters - In response to recent criticism, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) John A. Koskinen announced that the agency will adopt a “common sense” approach in how it handles funds that have...more

The OCC’s Increasing Focus on BSA-AML Compliance

In a speech last week to the Institute of International Bankers, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry focused extensively on Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) compliance. Combined with the recent...more

FinCEN Fines Community Bank Over BSA Violations

On February 27, FinCEN announced a $1.5 million civil money penalty against a Pennsylvania-based community bank for violating the BSA. Of that amount, $500,000 will go to the OCC, the bank’s primary regulator, for BSA...more

FinCEN Targets Community Bank - $1.5 Million Penalty for Failure to File Suspicious Activity Reports

On February 27, 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) announced a $1.5 million civil penalty against the First National Community Bank of Dunmore, Pennsylvania (“FNCB”), arising from FNCB’s admission that...more

How Many SARs Does It Take to Find Yourself in Regulators' Crosshairs? Answer: None

Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Enforcement Division Director Andrew Ceresney, recently drew attention when he announced that the SEC intends to include among its enforcement priorities compliance with the Bank...more

Avoiding personal liability amidst heightened AML enforcement

In February 2014, the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA), the self-regulatory body for the U.S. securities industry, suspended a former global anti-money laundering compliance officer at Brown Brothers Harriman &...more

FinCEN Imposes Significant Fines In a Warning to Adhere to Due Diligence Requirements

In its recent decision to impose $20 million in sanctions upon Oppenheimer and Co. for the company’s failure to maintain internal controls to promote enforcement of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), FinCEN revealed the emphasis it...more

“No News Is Bad News” on BSA Compliance

Addressing SIFMA’s Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) conference Wednesday, SEC Enforcement Director Andrew Ceresney said that – when it comes to AML – the lack of red flags itself is a red flag....more

FinCEN Hits Repeat Offender with $20M Penalty

Why it matters - The $20 million civil money penalty assessed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) against Oppenheimer & Co. is intended to send several strong messages to all types of financial services...more

Trump Taj Mahal Fined Record $10 Million for Inadequate AML Program

As disclosed recently in a bankruptcy court filing, on January 27, 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) imposed a $10 million civil money penalty pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act (the “BSA”) on Trump Taj...more

FinCEN Fines NY-Based Securities Broker-Dealer for Anti-Money Laundering Shortfalls

On January 27, FinCEN fined a New York securities broker-dealer firm $20 million for violating the BSA. According to the press release, the firm failed to (i) establish an adequate anti-money laundering program; (ii) conduct...more

2014 Corruption Perceptions Index Highlights Need for Greater International Cooperation

Following the release of Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), the international watchdog group urges greater international cooperation to stem corruption and abuses of power that undermine...more

SEC Extends AML Relief for Broker-Dealer CIP Reliance on Advisers

The SEC’s action suggests that formal antimoney laundering program requirements for investment advisers may be on the horizon. On January 9, the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued the...more

FinCEN Fines Former CCO For Maintaining Ineffective AML Program

Recently, FinCEN announced a $1 million civil money penalty against the former Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) of a large financial services company for allegedly violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its implementing...more

When Do Non-U.S. Citizens Pay Income Tax And Report Foreign Financial Accounts?

In a series of Frequently Asked Questions releases December 31, 2014, The Congressional Research Service provides some guidance on when non-U.S. citizens may be subject to U.S. income taxes....more

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