Friday, July 18, 2014

FinCEN Releases First Issue of SAR Stats, Successor Publication to By the Numbers

The first issue of SAR Stats, the successor publication to By the Numbers, is available on  FinCEN anticipates issuing more frequent, periodic updates to SAR data beginning this fall.  SAR Stats, Issue 1 Click Here

SAR Stats (formerly By the Numbers) is a compilation of numerical data gathered from the FinCEN Suspicious Activity Reports (Form 111) filed by financial institutions. SAR Stats is published as a full report once a year. SAR data is updated quarterly (Quarterly Report) while full editions (SAR Stats) are released mid-year and reflect an overview of the prior 12-month calendar year, contain updated trends and new SAR Narrative Spotlight and Sector Highlight and Data Insider sections.

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FinCEN Takes Action to Protect U.S. Financial System

July 17, 2014

Section 311 action against FBME Bank protects the U.S. financial system from a foreign bank facilitating illicit activity
WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today named FBME Bank Ltd., formerly known as the Federal Bank of the Middle East, as a foreign financial institution of primary money laundering concern pursuant to Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Section 311). Today’s action reflects FinCEN’s continuing commitment to take strong action against financial institutions willing to facilitate the laundering of funds for weapons proliferators, terrorists, and transnational organized criminals.
“FBME promotes itself on the basis of its weak Anti-Money Laundering (AML) controls in order to attract illicit finance business from the darkest corners of the criminal underworld.” said FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery. “Unfortunately, this business plan has been far too successful. But today’s action, effectively shutting FBME off from the U.S. financial system, is a necessary step to disrupt the bank’s efforts and send the message that the United States will not stand by while financial institutions help those who intend to harm or threaten Americans.”

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

IRS agents head to Macau as U.S. steps up scrutiny of casinos

By Brett Wolf, Reuters
June 25, 2014

ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - U.S. authorities are ramping up their investigation into money flows from gambling hotspot Macau to ensure that U.S. casinos with operations there are not used as conduits to funnel crime proceeds from Asia and elsewhere into the U.S. financial system.

Agents of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's criminal enforcement unit traveled to Macau last month to gather information, two sources familiar with the matter said. An IRS spokesman declined to comment on Wednesday.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Adam Steiner, a supervisory special agent with Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), acknowledged the Macau trip at an anti-money laundering conference in Las Vegas on June 12. The media were excluded from the room during the agent's remarks.

The U.S. Treasury Department's anti-money laundering unit has also been closely examining money flow from Macau casinos.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Feds: Casinos Must Track Pot Business Owners, Workers at Game Tables

Colorado's 40 casinos — and hundreds of others, including in the gaming mecca in Las Vegas — are bound by the same money-reporting rules that have made banks reluctant to let legal marijuana businesses open bank accounts, federal authorities now say.

That means casinos can keep anyone associated with legal weed enterprises — from dispensary to grow operations — away from gaming tables anywhere in the country.

And if they do allow them to play, casinos must file the same suspicious activity reports banks must file whenever they handle money derived from pot profits, according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a division of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

"FinCEN's guidance applies to all financial institutions covered under FinCEN regulations, including casinos," FinCEN's public affairs director Stephen Hudak told The Denver Post.

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