Status of the USA PATRIOT Act Section 314(a)/Information Requests
On November 4, 2002, FinCEN's Section 314(a) system began operation. The system is designed to enable law enforcement to transmit the names of suspected money launderers and terrorists to financial institutions through e-mail and facsimile, and obtain responses of positive matches for certain account and transaction information for the suspects within seven business days. Ten transmissions were made, arising from both money laundering and terrorist financing investigations. Although, only the first request went through the entire process, each request resulted in the provision of useful information to law enforcement. However, responding financial institutions raised a number of questions and issues. The concerns led FinCEN, after consultation with the federal functional regulators and law enforcement officials, to place a moratorium on the Section 314(a) process until the issues could be addressed. On February 17, 2003, a public notice announced the resumption of the Section 314(a) system.
Excerpted from SAR Activity Review Issue 5, page 66
First published on 02/01/2003