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

Numerous SARs and CTRs Aid in Hawala Investigation | Informal Value Transfer Systems, Involving CTRs, Money Services Businesses
Retail Store Owner Sentenced for Unlicensed Hawala Operation | Informal Value Transfer Systems, Involving SARs, Fraud, Money Services Businesses, Tax Crimes
Suspicious Activity Reports Identify Money Laundering Activities | Informal Value Transfer Systems, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, BSA Violations
SAR Filings Lead to Investigation Involving Black Market Peso Exchange | Narcotics Trafficking, Informal Value Transfer Systems, Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations
Illicit Wire Activity Destined for Sanctioned Country | Informal Value Transfer Systems, Other Crimes, Depository Institutions, Money Services Businesses