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#1969999 - 10/16/14 07:30 PM Subpoena and SAR disclosure
CantBeShocked Offline
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My bank has received a Sec of State Grand Jury Subpoena which asks for all SARs filed on a customer from January 2011 to present.

The OCC has actually responded: " The bank can provide both the SAR and the CTR information covered by the subpoena from the Mississippi securities regulator, provided that the bank does not notify Mr. XXXXXX of the SAR’s existence, non-existence, or any SAR contents. Although there is a statutory and regulatory limit on the disclosure of SAR information (see 31 USC 5318(g)(2)(A)(i) and 12 CFR 21.11(k)(i)), an exception permits the disclosure to State “law enforcement” agencies (see 12 CFR 21.11(k)(ii)(A)(1)). The term “law enforcement” is not defined and can be interpreted broadly to include a state securities regulator that enforces state securities laws. The BSA/AML attorney in HQ has confirmed that the bank can provide the information requested by the subpoena."

I have always declined to provide copies to any subpoena request. Have you ever had this happen and what did you do?

I havve always understood that safe harbor is partly to prevent you from having to reveal publicly - that a SAR was filed. Not just preventing you to tell a customer.

Thanks!
Last edited by The Real Mobo; 10/16/14 08:48 PM.
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#1970002 - 10/16/14 07:31 PM Re: Subpoena and SAR disclosure CantBeShocked
rlcarey Offline
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Grand jury requests have been OK for some time now.
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#1970005 - 10/16/14 07:33 PM Re: Subpoena and SAR disclosure CantBeShocked
CantBeShocked Offline
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Why are they okay?
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#1970014 - 10/16/14 07:50 PM Re: Subpoena and SAR disclosure CantBeShocked
rlcarey Offline
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For the reasons that the OCC cited. It is a law enforcement request and they are confidential proceedings.
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#1970016 - 10/16/14 07:55 PM Re: Subpoena and SAR disclosure CantBeShocked
CantBeShocked Offline
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But don't the documents, including a SAR, become part of the public record if a case is taken to court? Forgive me if I don't understand all steps of the process.
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#1970040 - 10/16/14 08:49 PM Re: Subpoena and SAR disclosure CantBeShocked
rlcarey Offline
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Everything that is part of the grand jury proceedings is confidential. What difference does it make? The individual investigator or the AG could waltz into your bank and ask for copies and the supporting documentation. What they do with the information after that is really out of your control. You would hope that they would not make them publically available.
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#1970058 - 10/16/14 09:14 PM Re: Subpoena and SAR disclosure CantBeShocked
Elwood P. Dowd Offline
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Quote:
I have always declined to provide copies to any subpoena request.


You keep right on doing that. This is different.

In essence, you made the SAR available to several law enforcement agencies when you clicked "submit." This is just one more agency. It's unusual that they would ask you for it rather than query the data base, but you apparently notified your regulator (as well as FinCEN) of the subpoena just as you are required by law and regulation to do. The former has approved the disclosure. This additional disclosure is just one more slice off an already cut loaf. Your attorney should still be involved, but it's difficult to imagine what his or her objections could be.

You have maintained the legal confidentiality of the document.

Now, it's up to law enforcement to maintain the document's confidentiality. Your SAR is not "evidence:" it cannot be offered as proof of anything. It's the supporting documentation that may be entered into evidence in a courtroom and become public. Take comfort in the fact that it's a crime for law enforcement to disclose the existence of a SAR; they have just as much incentive to be careful as your bank does. In this specific instance, as noted, this is a grand jury proceeding; everything about it is confidential and there will be no public record of the proceedings.
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#1970080 - 10/16/14 10:10 PM Re: Subpoena and SAR disclosure CantBeShocked
CantBeShocked Offline
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Thanks - great explanation Ken.
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#1970368 - 10/17/14 08:16 PM Re: Subpoena and SAR disclosure CantBeShocked
CantBeShocked Offline
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CORRECTION !!!!! This is a Secretary of State Administrative Subpoena - NOT a grand jury subpoena. I got an actual copy from our Legal Department whereas I originally had a copy / pasted section sent to me in an email.

Does that change the story or verdict here?

Thanks
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#1970426 - 10/18/14 07:33 PM Re: Subpoena and SAR disclosure CantBeShocked
Elwood P. Dowd Offline
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The only opinions that matters is the OCC's. I suggest you verify, to the point of making sure they see the document, that they understand that it is an administrative subpoena, not a grand jury subpoena. Given their wording in their initial response to you, their decision should be the same.
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