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
Individual Sentenced for Operating an Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business & Bankruptcy Fraud | Depository Institutions, Involving CTRs, Money Services Businesses
Mortgage Broker Pleads Guilty to Structuring Charges | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses, Check Crimes
Illegal Casa De Cambio Launders More Than $5 Million | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, Money Services Businesses
Local Municipality Case Example (Failure to Follow Reporting Requirements) | Jewelers, Involving CTRs, Money Services Businesses, Check Crimes
Money Remitting Business Laundering Drug Proceeds | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs, Money Services Businesses
Bank Secrecy Act Records Assist in Mortgage Fraud Investigation Resulting in Guilty Plea | Involving SARs, Fraud, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses
Suspicious Activity Report Leads to the Investigation and Conviction of Elected Official | Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses, Check Crimes
Proactive Review of SARs Leads to Long Prison Sentences for Drug Traffickers | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses
Proactive Suspicious Activity Report Review Leads to Guilty Plea for Money Remitter Structuring Transactions | Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses
Suspicious Activity Reports Detail International Payments of Drug Trafficking Ring | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs, BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses
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
Business Accused of Structuring | BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses
Proactive Currency Transaction Report Reviews Lead to Tax Cheats | Involving CTRs, Money Services Businesses, Tax Crimes
State Coordinator's Case Example (Welfare Fraud) | Involving SARs, Fraud, Involving CTRs, Money Services Businesses
Numerous SARs and CTRs Aid in Hawala Investigation | Informal Value Transfer Systems, Involving CTRs, Money Services Businesses
SAR Reports Structuring by Unlicensed Msb | BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses
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
Proactive SAR Review Identifies Retired U.S. Military Officer Involved in Bribery Scheme | Involving SARs, Other Crimes, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, Money Services Businesses