Article: FinCEN Must Staff Up to Fulfill Reform Mandate, Director Says

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FinCEN Must Staff Up to Fulfill Reform Mandate, Director Says

Dylan Tokar, The Wall Street Journal, 02 March 2021

The U.S. Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit is focused on acquiring the resources it needs to implement sweeping new anti-money-laundering reforms—in a way that doesn’t unnecessarily burden the financial industry, its director said.

Putting into practice the anti-money-laundering legislation, which was passed in January as part of an annual defense-policy bill, is a priority of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco said Tuesday at a virtual conference hosted by International Institute of Bankers.

“The priority is to make sure that we do everything that we can to implement the [law], everything that we can to get FinCEN in a position where it can accomplish that,” Mr. Blanco said.

That means making sure FinCEN is “fully staffed” and “fully resourced,” and conducts outreach needed to carefully write regulations surrounding the law, he said.

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Capital One Fined for Anti-Money-Laundering Deficiencies


Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network said the bank admitted it had failed to maintain effective controls in a check-cashing business.

The Treasury Department on Friday said it fined Capital One Financial Corp. for “willfully failing to implement and maintain” effective anti-money-laundering controls. As part of the settlement, Capital One admitted that it “willfully failed to file thousands of suspicious-activity reports,” according to the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The allegations pertain to a check-cashing group that Capital One acquired when it bought North Fork Bank in 2006.

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Article: Germany says FinCEN money laundering revelations are not new

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Germany says FinCEN money laundering revelations are not new

Holger Hansen and Andreas Rinke, 21 September 2020

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s finance ministry said on Monday that a slew of news reports about money laundering among global banks including Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE did not appear to contain revelations which were unknown.

“To the best of our knowledge, the cases with a German connection have been dealt with and the necessary consequences have been drawn,” a spokeswoman said.

German regulator BaFin is a unit of Germany’s Finance Ministry.

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Article: JPMorgan allegedly helped Russian mafia launder funds – FinCEN leak

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JPMorgan allegedly helped Russian mafia launder funds – FinCEN leak

Stephen Rae, 20 September 2020

The FinCEN Files leak show JP Morgan in London was suspected of helping Russian mafia ‘capo di capi’ or boss of bosses to launder more than a $1BN.

Semion Mogilevich – who has appeared in the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list – has been accused of crimes including murder, drugs smuggling and gun running.

Given his background he should not have been allowed to use the financial system, but a SARs filed by JP Morgan in 2015 after the account was closed, reveals how the bank’s London office may have moved some of the cash.

The FinCen Files is a data dump leak of internal US Treasury Department documents which apparently show how major banks allowed criminal suspects to launder dirty money around the globe. Notably, the leak shows London is often the weak link in the financial system and how London is awash with Russian cash.

The leak of documents from the Treasury Department show how JP Morgan, provided banking services to a secretive offshore company called ABSI Enterprises between 2002 and 2013, even though the firm’s ownership was not clear from the bank’s records, the BBC reported.

Over one five-year period, JP Morgan sent and received wire transfers totalling $1.02bn, the broadcaster revealed.

The bank’s SAR noted ABSI’s parent company “might be associated with Semion Mogilevich – an individual who was on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list”.

In a statement to the BBC, JP Morgan said: “We follow all laws and regulations in support of the government’s work to combat financial crimes. We devote thousands of people and hundreds of millions of dollars to this important work.”

The files were obtained by BuzzFeed News which shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) – image above from – and 400 journalists around the world. The Panorama investigation programme led research for the BBC.

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Article: Dirty Money, Criminal Cash: Bank Leaks Allege Vast Scale of Global Fraud

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Dirty Money, Criminal Cash: Bank Leaks Allege Vast Scale of Global Fraud

Henry Ridgwell, 20 September 2020

Leaked documents allege that some of the world’s largest banks have allowed $2 trillion worth of suspicious or fraudulent activity to take place, including money laundering for criminal gangs and terrorists.

The so-called “FinCEN Files” consist of more than 2,000 Suspicious Activity Reports, or SARs, sent by banks to the U.S. Treasury, alerting the authorities to possible criminal activity, from 1999 and 2017. The files were leaked to Buzzfeed and shared with a global network of investigative journalists. Continue reading “Article: Dirty Money, Criminal Cash: Bank Leaks Allege Vast Scale of Global Fraud”

Article: FinCEN Files: HSBC moved Ponzi scheme millions despite warning

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FinCEN Files: HSBC moved Ponzi scheme millions despite warning

FinCEN Files reporting team, 20 September 2020

Britain’s biggest bank moved the money through its US business to HSBC accounts in Hong Kong in 2013 and 2014. Its role in the $80m (£62m) fraud is detailed in a leak of documents – banks’ “suspicious activity reports” – that have been called the FinCEN Files.

HSBC says it has always met its legal duties on reporting such activity. The files show the investment scam started soon after the bank was fined $1.9bn (£1.4bn) in the US over money laundering. It had promised to clamp down on these sorts of practices. Continue reading “Article: FinCEN Files: HSBC moved Ponzi scheme millions despite warning”

Article: UBS Fined $15 Million Over Anti-Money-Laundering Systems

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UBS Fined $15 Million Over Anti-Money-Laundering Systems

Maria Armental and Samuel Rubenfeld, 17 December, 2018

UBS Group AG agreed to pay a combined $15 million fine over regulatory deficiencies in its anti-money-laundering program, U.S. regulators said Monday.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, said broker-dealer unit UBS Financial Services Inc. violated the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires financial firms to report suspicious activities, over a roughly 13-year period through 2017. Continue reading “Article: UBS Fined $15 Million Over Anti-Money-Laundering Systems”