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Global Resolution of Potential Enforcement Actions

By FinCEN Office of Enforcement

A broker-dealer, mutual fund, or futures commission merchant in violation of requirements to implement adequate measures reasonably designed to ensure compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), including detection and reporting of suspicious activity indicative of money laundering, terrorist financing, or other financial crimes, may be subject to enforcement actions by multiple government agencies.39 FinCEN may assess civil money penalties against a broker-dealer, mutual fund, or futures commission merchant for violating the BSA.40 In addition, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), or U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) may also take enforcement action, under their respective jurisdictions,41 for violations of countermoney laundering requirements similar to, but separate from, the BSA.

When charged with conduct violating the BSA and other counter-money laundering requirements, a broker-dealer, mutual fund, or futures commission merchant should consider seeking global resolution of all potentially related enforcement matters. While the SEC, FINRA, CFTC, and FinCEN must operate under their distinct jurisdictional authorities, we strive, whenever possible, to proceed jointly and concurrently on enforcement matters. Global proceedings advance disposition of BSA enforcement matters in the context of other related matters, and avoid potential for multiple actions against a financial institution at different times for similar or related conduct. In addition, global enforcement actions advance consistent and uniform enforcement of the BSA and other counter-money laundering requirements by all stakeholder government and self regulatory organizations.

39 See U.S. Government Accountability Office, Bank Secrecy Act, Federal Agencies Should Take Action to Further Improve Coordination and Information-Sharing. GAO-09-227 (February 2009).

40 31 U.S.C. ? 5321 and 31 C.F.R. ? 103.57.

41 See e.g., Securities Exchange Act of 1934 sections 21B and 21C.

Excerpted from SAR Activity Review Issue 15, page 43

First published on 05/01/2009

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