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 Reports Structuring by Unlicensed Msb | BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses
Suspicious Activity Reports Detail Transactions in Mortgage Fraud Scheme | Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions
SAR Referral Leads to the Discovery of a $100 Million Mortgage Fraud and Foreclosure Rescue Scheme | Involving SARs, Fraud, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, Tax Crimes
Local Municipality Case Example (SARs/CTRs Lead to Asset Forfeiture) | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
Business Accused of Structuring | BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses
SAR Suspect Convicted of Forging U.S. Treasury Checks | Involving SARs, ID Crimes, Depository Institutions
Suspicious Activity Reports Identify Money Laundering Activities | Informal Value Transfer Systems, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, BSA Violations
Bank Secrecy Act Records Detail Transactions Related to Illicit Smoke Shop Sales | Involving SARs, Other Crimes, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
Suspicious Activity Reports Describe Marijuana Traffickers’ Attempt to Wash, Dry, and Iron “Dirty” Currency | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Other Crimes, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
State Coordinator's Case Example (Embezzlement) | Schemes and Scams, Casinos and Card Clubs
Check Cashing Worker Convicted of Money Laundering | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Money Services Businesses
SARs Assist in Conviction of Pharmacist | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud
Suspicious Activity Reports “Extremely Helpful” in Structuring Conviction Related to International Lottery Scheme | Involving SARs, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
Proactive SAR Review Leads to Guilty Pleas in Structuring, Bank Fraud Case | Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
Securities Dealer Provides Details of High Yield Investment Program Scheme | Broker Dealers, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud
Currency Transaction Reports Expose Drug Traffickers Laundering Profits Through Casinos | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Casinos and Card Clubs
SARs Identify Internal Fraud at Local Bank | Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions
Travel Agent Convicted | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, BSA Violations
SARs Reveal Multi-Million Dollar Illicit Business | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
Bogus Life Insurance Investment Vehicles Identified through SAR Filing | Involving SARs, Fraud, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, Insurance Companies