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#841436 - 10/24/07 04:59 PM SAR - Notification to Law Enf & Regulatory Agency
stormie Offline
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Is there any guidance regarding when a filed SAR should be reported to law enforcement and regulatory agency?

If we report an additional SAR for ongoing activity, are we required to contact these agencies?

Also, if we may be looking at commercial loan fraud that may result in a large loss to the bank, is this also required to be reported to these agencies?

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#841502 - 10/24/07 05:44 PM Re: SAR - Notification to Law Enf & Regulatory Agency stormie
MagicCity Offline

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You are not required.
Guidance says you 'are encouraged'.

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#841512 - 10/24/07 05:48 PM Re: SAR - Notification to Law Enf & Regulatory Agency MagicCity
BrendaC Offline
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Sweet Home AL
From SAR form:

In situations involving violations requiring immediate attention, such as when a reportable violation is ongoing, the
financial institution shall immediately notify, by telephone, appropriate law enforcement and financial institution
supervisory authorities in addition to filing a timely suspicious activity report.
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#885767 - 01/10/08 10:25 PM Re: SAR - Notification to Law Enf & Regulatory Agency BrendaC
mkp122 Offline
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We have a customer who is insisting on withdrawing $100,000 in cash and won't provide why they need the money in cash. I will be filing a SAR but should we notify law enforcement as well?

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#912959 - 02/29/08 05:53 PM Re: SAR - Notification to Law Enf & Regulatory Agency mkp122
nemsi Offline
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If you file a SAR, contact law enforcement and as a result get a supoena, then later you file a 2nd SAR- same activity- do you state in the narrative that the bank has received a supoena?

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#912964 - 02/29/08 05:59 PM Re: SAR - Notification to Law Enf & Regulatory Agency nemsi
rlcarey Offline
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I would not hestiate to mention that fact in the narrative, unless it involved possibly a Grand Jury Subpeona or most definitely not if it was an NSL.
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#912980 - 02/29/08 06:18 PM Re: SAR - Notification to Law Enf & Regulatory Agency stormie
Retread Offline
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This is what the SAR instructions say:
In situations involving suspicious transactions requiring immediate attention, such as when a reportable transaction is ongoing, the financial institution shall immediately notify, by telephone, appropriate law enforcement and regulatory authorities in addition to filing a timely suspicious activity report.

I don't think you are going to find anything in writing more precise than that. I can only speak from experience when I say that you should notify your regulator if a bank officer or other significant insider is involved and/or if the amount of the estimated loss might pose a threat to the continued operation of the bank. You should also notify your regulator if you have an ongoing fraud that you feel may need immediate attention by law enforcement. I know the regulators are not law enforcement, but they can sometimes "pursuade" law enforcement to act a little faster than they would if they followed the normal SAR follow-up process.
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#913319 - 02/29/08 09:42 PM Re: SAR - Notification to Law Enf & Regulatory Agency Retread
nemsi Offline
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Thanks RLCarey. That's what I thought but then I started second guessing myself.

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#1025738 - 08/21/08 11:19 PM Re: SAR - Notification to Law Enf & Regulatory Agency nemsi
WonderWoman Offline
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gone fishin'
*bump*

Older thread - but related question.

When do you (as in all BOLers who are reading this) contact law enforcement?

Since we are "encouraged" - why aren't we calling Law Enforcement for every SAR case?

Does it just depend on your relationship with LE & what you know they are interested in?

& one last question - what do you give them? Just the documentation? The SAR itself? Everything?
Last edited by (not as) newbsa; 08/21/08 11:31 PM.
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#1029149 - 08/27/08 04:44 PM Re: SAR - Notification to Law Enf & Regulatory Agency WonderWoman
Maytagman Offline
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We contact them in these scenarios:
1. Dollar loss to the bank in excess of $1,000,
2. Sar characterization box "T" is checked,
3. Any other time the institution determines that the situation requires immediate (same-day) attention

Regulators second-guess that at times, but our defense is that the filing of a SAR consititutes law enforcement notification, and that the bank decides when it is necessary, not anyone or anything else.

Before adopting that stance, I called the IRS and asked if they wanted me to phone them every time we file for structuring. They were incredulous, and deferred the decision to our regulator, who deferred the decision to our institution.

Why don't we call in every case? For bank loss issues like kiting and check fraud, our local law enforcement expects an in-person visit at their office, for a report to be completed, and this is undesirable and time-consuming.

Does it depend on your relationship with LE? Absolutely. Some regional SAR coordinators are more on the ball than others.

What do you give them? The information described in the SAR can be verbally reported to them over the phone, when possible, and it is covered by Safe Harbor. If they are not interested, they tell me "Thank you." If they are interested, they used to ask for a copy of the SAR to be sent to them directly, in addition to the copy filed with FinCEN. Nowadays we just tell them one business day after it is filed, that it is now available for them to download. We don't care for faxing copies around.
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#1029513 - 08/27/08 09:42 PM Re: SAR - Notification to Law Enf & Regulatory Agency Maytagman
WonderWoman Offline
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gone fishin'
Thank you so much. This is really solid information & what I was looking for!
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#1030432 - 08/28/08 08:30 PM Re: SAR - Notification to Law Enf & Regulatory Agency WonderWoman
Maytagman Offline
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<<& one last question - what do you give them? Just the documentation? The SAR itself? Everything?>>

Also, if law enforcement requests supporting docs, you are obliged to hand them over, after verifying the requestor's credentials are valid (i.e., viewing their badge, or calling them back at a verifiable law enforcement office phone number).
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