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 Filings Reveal Methamphetemine Production Ring | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
Proactive SAR Review Leads to the Arrest of Army Officer and Recovery of Iraqi War Funds | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Corruption
Proactive Suspicious Activity Report Review Leads to Guilty Plea for Money Remitter Structuring Transactions | Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses
Paralegal Found Guilty at Trial on Structuring Charges | Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
Money Laundering Scheme Transferred Over $12 Million to South American Countries | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Involving SARs
SAR Identifies Suspects Involved in a Nigerian Advance Fee Scam | Involving SARs, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions
Suspicious Activity Report Initiates Material Support of Terrorism Investigation | Depository Institutions, Money Services Businesses
Suspicious Activity Reports Identify Transactions Linked to Embezzlement of a Tribal Authority | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Other Crimes, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Corruption, Tax Crimes
Proactive Suspicious Activity Report Search Leads to Guilty Plea in Tax Fraud Investigation | Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
Jewelry Store Owner Fails to Report Large Cash Transaction,Structures Proceeds from Drug Trafficking | Narcotics Trafficking, Jewelers, Money Laundering, BSA Violations
SAR Leads to Conviction of Iraqi Money Launderer | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Other Crimes
Local Official Sentenced for Tax Evasion and Structuring | Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Corruption, Tax Crimes
State Coordinator's Case Example (Identity Theft) | Involving SARs, ID Crimes, Depository Institutions
Bank Secrecy Act Records Link Gambling Ring to Structuring at Casinos | Involving SARs, Other Crimes, Involving CTRs, Casinos and Card Clubs, BSA Violations
SAR Leads to Guilty Plea of Money Laundering | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Depository Institutions
Suspicious Activity Reports Aid Conviction of Drug Dealers | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions
SARs Aid Investigators in Case Where an Auto Dealer Laundered Drug Proceeds | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Depository Institutions
SAR Leads to Structuring Conviction for Mortgage Broker | Involving SARs, Fraud, BSA Violations, Check Crimes