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 Leads to Identification of Elaborate Ponzi Schemes | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
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
SARs Lead to Serial Mortgage Fraud Offender | Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
Identity Thief Receives Nearly 4 Years in Prison | Involving SARs, ID Crimes, Depository Institutions
SAR Filing Trips Up Card Thief | Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
SARs Result in Sentencing of Family Members in Bankruptcy Fraud Case | Broker Dealers, Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
BSA Records Identify Accounts and Transactions Related to an Illegal Gambling Enterprise | Money Laundering, Other Crimes, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
SARs Help Investigators Stop Fraudsters in Elder Financial Exploitation Case | Involving SARs, Fraud, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
Mortgage Broker Pleads Guilty to Structuring Charges | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses, Check Crimes
Suspicious Activity Reports Document Bank Transactions on Behalf of Drug Trafficker | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
Analysis of SAR Filings and CTRs Leads to Indictments of Criminal Organization | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Involving CTRs
Insider Fraud Contributes to Bank Failure | Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, Check Crimes
SAR Filing Unveils Customs Fraud | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Depository Institutions
Stock Fraud Cheats Elderly out of $100 Million | Broker Dealers, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Involving CTRs
Conviction for Making False Statements | Other Crimes, Fraud, Depository Institutions
SARs Help Uncover Scheme to Hide Payments from Drug Traffickers to Buy Vehicles | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
Escort Service Operates at and Launders Money through Casino | Money Laundering, Other Crimes, Casinos and Card Clubs
Suspicious Activity Reports Detail Transactions in Mortgage Fraud Scheme | Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions
BSA Data Instrumental in Drug Cases | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs
Lengthy Sentence for Owning a Marijuana Farm | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs
SAR Filings Lead to Investigation Involving Black Market Peso Exchange | Narcotics Trafficking, Informal Value Transfer Systems, Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
Suspicious Activity Report Details Illicit Check Cashing Activity, Provides Blueprint for Investigation and Indictment | Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses, Check Crimes