The Value of FinCEN Data


Magnifying Glass in Front of Bookshelf

Financial data, collected from financial institutions by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), has proven to be of considerable value in money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes investigations by law enforcement. When combined with other data collected by law enforcement and the intelligence communities, FinCEN data assists investigators in connecting the dots in their investigations by allowing for a more complete identification of the respective subjects with information such as personal information; previously unknown addresses; businesses and personal associations; banking patterns; travel patterns; and communication methods.

FinCEN’s Law Enforcement Awards

Every year, FinCEN holds its Law Enforcement Awards ceremony, which recognizes successfully prosecuted cases. The goals of the program are to recognize those law enforcement agencies that made effective use of financial institution reporting to obtain a successful prosecution and to demonstrate to the financial industry the value of its reporting to law enforcement. The program also emphasizes that prompt and accurate reporting by the financial industry is vital to the successful partnership with law enforcement to fight financial crime. FinCEN receives case submissions from law enforcement for the program, and in all cases, the use of BSA reporting by the financial industry provided highly noteworthy added value to significant investigations. Case summaries for many of the submissions are described in the press releases below:

Search Case Examples Prior to 2015 Using the Drop-Down Menu Below

SAR Filing Results in Arrests on Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering | Depository Institutions, Involving SARs, Money Laundering, Narcotics Trafficking
Individual Sentenced for Operating an Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business & Bankruptcy Fraud | Depository Institutions, Involving CTRs, Money Services Businesses
BSA Documents Lead to Repatriation & Seizure of over $9 Million Generated by Illegal Internet Pharmacy | Depository Institutions, Involving SARs, Money Services Businesses, Other Crimes
SARs Lead to Conviction of Major Cocaine Trafficker | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, Tax Crimes
Defendant Pleads Guilty in Structuring Case | Depository Institutions, Casinos and Card Clubs, BSA Violations
SARs Help Dismantle Interstate Cigarette Smuggling Operation | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Other Crimes, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, Terrorism, BSA Violations
Proactive Suspicious Activity Report Review Leads to Guilty Pleas in “Cash Back” Mortgage Fraud Scheme | Involving SARs, Fraud, Involving CTRs, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
Detailed SAR Narratives Help Uncover Cigarette Smuggling Operation | Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
Former Executive in Prison for Tax Evasion | Involving SARs, Tax Crimes
Cocaine Dealer Sentenced to Life in Prison for Distribution, Structuring, and Money Laundering | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
SARs Help Bust $1 Million Drug Ring Led by Significantly Older Student | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
SARs Lead to Discovery of $1.8 Million Hidden in House | Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
314(a) Results Greatly Enhance Case Involving Material Support to Terrorism | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud, Terrorism, Tax Crimes
SAR Filing Uncovers Investment Fraud Scheme | Involving SARs, Fraud, Schemes and Scams
Illicit Wire Activity Destined for Sanctioned Country | Informal Value Transfer Systems, Other Crimes, Depository Institutions, Money Services Businesses
Bank Secrecy Act Records, Tellers' Testimony Lead to Convictions for Medicare Fraud, Structuring, and Money Laundering | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
BSA Information Helps Jury Convict Cocaine Trafficker | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Casinos and Card Clubs, BSA Violations
Attorney Sentenced in Fraud Case | Involving SARs, Fraud, BSA Violations
SAR Filings Lead to Discovery of Major Investment Scam | Broker Dealers, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud, BSA Violations