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

Check Kite Nets Two | Involving SARs, Fraud, Check Crimes
SAR Filing Locates Check Kiting Suspect | Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, Check Crimes
SARs Assist in Bankruptcy Bust-out Scheme Investigation | Involving SARs, Fraud, Check Crimes
Suspicious Activity Reports Document Transactions by Defendant With Ties to Organized Crime Group, Possible Terrorism Financing | Involving SARs, Fraud, ID Crimes, Depository Institutions, Terrorism, Check Crimes
SAR Leads to Structuring Conviction for Mortgage Broker | Involving SARs, Fraud, BSA Violations, Check Crimes
Case for Mortgage Fraud Involving Straw Buyers Supported by SARs | Involving SARs, Fraud, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses, Check Crimes
Credit Union Files Suspicious Activity Report and Helps Launch Bank Fraud, International Payment Transfers Investigation | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Check Crimes
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
SARs Identify Huge Check-Kiting Scheme by Auto Dealer | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, Check Crimes
SAR Jump-Starts Investigation into Natural Resources Ponzi Scheme | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, Check Crimes
Mortgage Broker Pleads Guilty to Structuring Charges | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Money Services Businesses, Check Crimes
Insider Fraud Contributes to Bank Failure | Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, Check Crimes
SAR Unveils Network of Brazilians Involved in a Stolen Check Scheme | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud, ID Crimes, Check Crimes
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 and 314(b) Call Lead to Guilty Plea in Ponzi Scheme | Involving SARs, Fraud, Involving CTRs, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, Casinos and Card Clubs, Check Crimes
Bank SARs Lead to Discovery of Predatory Certificate of Deposit Fraud Scheme | Involving SARs, Fraud, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, Check Crimes
Local Municipality Case Example (Failure to Follow Reporting Requirements) | Jewelers, Involving CTRs, Money Services Businesses, Check Crimes