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

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 Initiates Investigations into Fraud, High-Yield Investment Schemes; Egmont Exchanges Lead to Foreign Accounts and Asset Seizures | Involving SARs, Fraud, Involving CTRs, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, Casinos and Card Clubs, Tax Crimes
Suspicious Activity Report Leads to Arrest and Conviction of U.S. Government Employee for Embezzlement | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, Casinos and Card Clubs, BSA Violations, Corruption
Bank Secrecy Act Records Track Money Laundering Methods of Drug Gang | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, Casinos and Card Clubs
SAR Identifies Links in ATF Cases | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Involving SARs
Suspicious Activity Report Leads to Forfeiture of Currency | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
Credit Union’s Suspicious Activity Reports Lead to Arrest of Corrupt Utilities Employees | Involving SARs, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Corruption
Suspicious Activity Reports Detail International Payments of Drug Trafficking Ring | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs, BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses
Proactive Currency Transaction Report Reviews Lead to Tax Cheats | Involving CTRs, Money Services Businesses, Tax Crimes
Bank Secrecy Act Data Leads to Seizure of $18 Million | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Other Crimes
Numerous SARs and CTRs Aid in Hawala Investigation | Informal Value Transfer Systems, Involving CTRs, Money Services Businesses
SAR Leads to Break-Up of Stolen Check Ring | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Depository Institutions
Suspicious Activity Report Leads to the Investigation and Conviction of Elected Official | Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses, Check Crimes
SARs Lead to Structuring and Tax Convictions | Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
Proactive SAR Review Uncovers $15 Million Securities Conversion Scheme | Broker Dealers, Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions
State Agency Case Example (Taxes) | Depository Institutions, Insurance Companies
Operation Mule Train | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, Money Services Businesses
SAR Leads to Former Deputy Sheriff Sentenced for Extortion and Title 31 Violations | Involving SARs, Other Crimes, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
SAR Initiates Case that Leads to Guilty Pleas for Hiring Illegal Aliens | Involving SARs, Other Crimes, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations