CCICS – Reliance on Other Agencies Complicates FinCEN’s Bid to Toughen Enforcement

“Other signs suggest FinCEN is toughening its approach in different ways. In October, ACAMS reported that the bureau is considering whether to employ its subpoena power under Title 31 of the U.S. criminal code to retrieve account data from foreign financial institutions with correspondent accounts in the United States.”


Reliance on Other Agencies Complicates FinCEN’s Bid to Toughen Enforcement

By Colby Adams

Efforts to ramp up the U.S. financial intelligence unit’s enforcement of the Bank Secrecy Act have run into a longstanding hurdle: the bureau’s reliance on financial regulators for case leads.

Under the directorship of former federal prosecutor Jennifer Shasky Calvery, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s once-separate compliance and enforcement functions have been combined into a single office within the new Division of Enforcement. The bureau, known as FinCEN, has staffed the division with former federal prosecutors.

The division’s establishment came as part of a bureau-wide reorganization that commenced in June 2013, and a subsequent hiring campaign intended to enhance the issuance of warning letters, injunctions and civil money penalties against institutions and individuals that violate U.S. anti-money laundering (AML) rules.

But despite the fact that FinCEN has grown its team of enforcement specialists from four to as…

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