CommunityBank of Texas fined for BSA/AML violations
The OCC has announced a $1 million civil money penalty against CommunityBank of Texas, N.A., Beaumont, Texas, for violations of the OCC’s Bank Secrecy Act regulations. The OCC found that CommunityBank of Texas failed to adopt and implement a Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering system of internal controls to assure ongoing compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and its implementing regulations. Such deficiencies resulted in CommunityBank’s failure to timely file complete suspicious activity reports for approximately $100 million of suspicious activity. The OCC’s civil money penalty is separate from, but coordinated with, a settlement between CommunityBank and FinCEN.
FinCEN has announced it has assessed an $8 million civil money penalty on the bank for willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its implementing regulations.
Specifically, the bank admitted that it willfully failed to implement and maintain an effective anti-money laundering (AML) program that was reasonably designed to guard against money laundering. The bankalso admitted that it willfully failed to report hundreds of suspicious transactions to FinCEN involving illegal financial activity by its customers and processed by, at, or through the bank even after the bank became aware that certain customers were subjects of criminal investigations. The violations occurred from at least 2015 through 2019 and caused millions of dollars in suspicious transactions to go unreported to FinCEN in a timely and accurate manner, including transactions connected to tax evasion, illegal gambling, money laundering, and other financial crimes.