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Bank of Mingo, Williamson, West Virginia

Williamson, WV
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$4.5M CMP Total Assets $95.7M Bank of Mingo

On June 15, 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced the assessment of a $4.5 million civil money penalty against Bank of Mingo (Mingo), Williamson, West Virginia, for willfully violating the Bank Secrecy Act. FinCEN reported that Mingo had severe and systemic failures in many aspects of its AML program, with the result that Mingo processed millions of dollars in structured and suspicious cash transactions through the institution.

Mingo is headquarted in Williamson, Mingo County, WV. It has six offices, all in the county, and a total of 48 employees. As of March 31, 2015, it reported $95.662 million in total assets. FinCEN states that "Mingo had systemic BSA violations that derived from its failure to establish and maintain an adequate anti-money laundering program and customer due diligence program. Mingo's program deficiencies led to its failure to monitor, detect and report suspicious activity and to timely file currency transaction reports. Consequently, from 2008 through 2012, Mingo allowed more than $9.2 million in structured and otherwise suspicious cash transactions to flow through the institution unreported."

The bank has entered into a $2.2 million deferred prosecution agreement and forfeiture action with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of West Virginia, and has been issued an order to pay a $3.5 million civil money penalty announced by the FDIC. The forfeiture and CMPs are concurrent.

Mingo has admitted that "a particular corporate customer structured hundreds of currency transactions through its accounts at Mingo's Williamson Branch. The Williamson Branch Manager facilitated the corporate customers structured transactions to evade the filing of currency transaction reports (CTRs). Mingo was aware of the Branch Manager's structuring scheme, yet failed to file the requisite CTRs and suspicious activity reports related to the high volume of unusual cash transactions conducted by the corporate customer."

The FDIC issued a Consent Order on 11/1/2013, that required the bank to improve its BSA compliance. That order remains in effect. According to the FinCEN Order, "[a]lthough Mingo designated a BSA Officer, it did not provide the BSA Officer with sufficient resources and time to adequately oversee Mingo's BSA compliance program. Specifically, Mingo assigned the BSA Officer multiple non-BSA responsibilities that left him unable to adequately fulfill his BSA obligations. Mingo was aware of this situation but failed to designate an additional person to support the BSA Officer or otherwise remedy the situation.

From 2007 to 2013, Mingo failed to file 619 CTRs, including 438 CTRs related to the one corporate customer mentioned above. That customer has pleaded guilty to conspiring to structure currency transactions, and the Mingo Branch Manager pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about his knowledge of the customer's cash transactions, and separately agreed with the FDIC to be barred permanently from involvement with any federally insured institution.

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