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

BSA Documents Lead to Repatriation & Seizure of over $9 Million Generated by Illegal Internet Pharmacy | Depository Institutions, Involving SARs, Money Services Businesses, Other Crimes
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
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
Restaurant Owner Pleads Guilty to a Charge of Structuring Bank Deposits | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
Suspicious Activity Reports Document Bank Transactions on Behalf of Drug Trafficker | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
SAR Reveals Bank Fraud and Money Laundering Violations by Rv Dealer | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions
Corrupt Official Convicted on Numerous Charges Including Structuring | Involving SARs, Other Crimes, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Corruption, Tax Crimes
BSA Records “Critical” in Conviction of Money Launderer in Organized Retail Theft Case | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Other Crimes, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses
Appeals Court Affirms Conviction in Tax Evasion Case Arising from a SAR | Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, Tax Crimes
SARs Connect Multiple Subjects to Large Scale Investment Scam | Involving SARs, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions
SARs Lead to Structuring and Tax Convictions | Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
Guilty Pleas in International Hedge Fund Fraud Case Initiated from SARs | Broker Dealers, Involving SARs, Fraud, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions
SARs Lead to Conviction of Major Cocaine Trafficker | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, Tax Crimes
SAR Initiates Case that Leads to Guilty Pleas for Hiring Illegal Aliens | Involving SARs, Other Crimes, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
Bogus Life Insurance Investment Vehicles Identified through SAR Filing | Involving SARs, Fraud, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, Insurance Companies
Identity Thief Receives Nearly 4 Years in Prison | Involving SARs, ID Crimes, Depository Institutions
SARs Identify Huge Check-Kiting Scheme by Auto Dealer | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, Check Crimes
SARs Lead to Serial Mortgage Fraud Offender | Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
Insider Fraud Contributes to Bank Failure | Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, Check Crimes
Suspicious Activity Report Leads to Conviction of Chief Executive | Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions
Proactive SAR Review Leads to Guilty Pleas in Structuring, Bank Fraud Case | Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
Mortgage Broker Pleads Guilty to Structuring Charges | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses, Check Crimes