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

SARs Lead to Discovery of $1.8 Million Hidden in House | Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
314(a) Results Greatly Enhance Case Involving Material Support to Terrorism | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud, Terrorism, Tax Crimes
Business Owner Sentenced for Tax Evasion | Involving SARs, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
Retail Store Owner Sentenced for Unlicensed Hawala Operation | Informal Value Transfer Systems, Involving SARs, Fraud, Money Services Businesses, Tax Crimes
SARs Lead to Conviction of Former Investment Firm CEO | Involving SARs, Fraud, Schemes and Scams, Tax Crimes
Suspicious Activity Report Initiates Investigations into Fraud, High-Yield Investment Schemes; Egmont Exchanges Lead to Foreign Accounts and Asset Seizures | Involving SARs, Fraud, Involving CTRs, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, Casinos and Card Clubs, Tax Crimes
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
SARs Lead to Structuring and Tax Convictions | Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
SAR Helps in Investigation of Doctor Prescribing Thousands of Pain Relief Pills | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
SARs Lead to Serial Mortgage Fraud Offender | Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
Appeals Court Affirms Conviction in Tax Evasion Case Arising from a SAR | Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, Tax Crimes
Detailed SAR Narratives Help Uncover Cigarette Smuggling Operation | Involving SARs, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
Former Executive in Prison for Tax Evasion | Involving SARs, Tax Crimes
SAR Filing Leads to 125-Count Indictment in $2.7 Million Embezzlement Case | Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
SARs Lead to Conviction of Major Cocaine Trafficker | Narcotics Trafficking, Money Laundering, Involving SARs, Fraud, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, Tax Crimes
Three Family Members Plead Guilty to Structuring | Involving SARs, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
Corrupt Official Convicted on Numerous Charges Including Structuring | Involving SARs, Other Crimes, Fraud, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Corruption, Tax Crimes
SAR Referral Leads to the Discovery of a $100 Million Mortgage Fraud and Foreclosure Rescue Scheme | Involving SARs, Fraud, Schemes and Scams, Depository Institutions, Tax Crimes
SARs Help Investigators Stop Fraudsters in Elder Financial Exploitation Case | Involving SARs, Fraud, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
Restaurant Owner Pleads Guilty to a Charge of Structuring Bank Deposits | Narcotics Trafficking, Involving SARs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes
SAR Leads to Guilty Plea in Case against Doctor | Involving SARs, Fraud, Involving CTRs, Depository Institutions, BSA Violations, Tax Crimes, Insurance Companies
Proactive Currency Transaction Report Reviews Lead to Tax Cheats | Involving CTRs, Money Services Businesses, Tax Crimes