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

Gambling and the Bank Secrecy Act

The Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) is a complex set of federal laws and regulations that require “financial institutions” to keep records, make reports, and conduct due diligence as a means of helping the federal government detect...more

Department of Justice Settles Virtual Currency Enforcement Action

The US Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California recently settled an enforcement action against Ripple Labs Inc., a Delaware corporation providing virtual currency exchange services. According to the settlement...more

Uses of Suspicious Activity Reports by the IRS

In a recent conference the Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) discussed the use of Currency Transaction Reports (CTR's) and Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR's) which are required to be filed by...more

FinCEN Eyes Real Estate Industry For Money Laundering Concerns

On May 6, FinCen Director Jennifer Calvery delivered remarks at the West Coast AML Forum, highlighting the agency’s increased focus to ensure transparency within the U.S. financial system. In her remarks, Calvery addressed...more

FinCEN Resolves First Enforcement Action Against Virtual Currency Exchange

On May 5, a virtual currency company and its subsidiary agreed to pay a $700,000 civil money penalty for violating multiple provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), in which both companies acted as a money service business...more

Federal Authorities Announce Settlement with Ripple Labs Inc. Resolving Investigation

Federal authorities announced this week a settlement with Ripple Labs Inc. and its subsidiary, XRP Fund II, resolving an investigation by FinCEN and the Department of Justice into violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.  ...more

Latest GTO Reflects FinCEN’s Aggressive Approach to Anti-Money Laundering

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

Marijuana and the Tax Apocalypse

As Californians evaluate the potential for legalization of Marijuana it is important to consider the current state of conflict between state and federal laws and regulations regarding the production, distribution and sale of...more

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

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