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Agencies Investigating Financial Crimes

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Which federal agencies are responsible for investigating criminal activity typically involving financial institutions?

Multiple federal law enforcement agencies might lead or participate in a bank related criminal investigation, including the following:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Secret Service (SS)
  • Postal Inspection Service (PIS)
  • Security & Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
  • Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General (SSA-OIG)
  • Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), and
  • Transportation Security Agency (TSA)

Filing a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) with FinCEN is designed to help ensure that the appropriate law enforcement agency is engaged. FinCEN analysts, serving the interests of the financial, law enforcement, and regulatory communities, provide case support to more than 165 federal, state, and local agencies, issuing approximately 6,500 intelligence reports each year. Using advanced technology and a variety of data sources including SAR’s, FinCEN links together various financial elements of the crime, helping federal, state and local law enforcement find the missing pieces to the criminal puzzle.

According to the United States Attorney’s office, the federal agency with jurisdiction over specific criminal activity that typically involve financial institutions include the following:


This Q&A originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline. For more information, sample issues, and to subscribe, click here or email

First published on 11/07/2021

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