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Banker's Toolbox solidifies its position as the premier solution for fast-growing financial institutions with the release of BAM+ 4.0 upgrade.
Banker's Toolbox continues to lead the BSA/AML and Fraud prevention marketplace with the release of BAM+ 4.0. This solution provides increased detection with more versatility, transparency and control. BAM+ 4.0 also boasts a new customer due diligence platform, Due Diligence Manager, which will keep institutions compliant with the impending beneficial ownership mandates. (Read full press release here.)

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FinCEN hits card club with $8 million CMP

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has announced an $8 million civil money penalty against Artichoke Joe’s, a California corporation, doing business as Artichoke Joe’s Casino (AJC), in San Bruno, California. AJC, one of the largest card clubs in the state, was found to have willfully violated U.S. anti-money laundering (AML) laws from October 2009 to November 2017. During this 8-year period, AJC failed to implement and maintain an effective AML program, and failed to detect, deter, and timely report many suspicious transactions, reported FinCEN. The $8,000,000 penalty is due by December 15, 2017.

According to FinCEN's announcement, AJC "turned a blind eye to loan sharking, suspicious transfers of high-value gaming chips, and flagrant criminal activity that occurred in plain sight." For more information, see "Artichoke Joe's Casino to pay $8M BSA/AML CMP" in BankersOnline's Penalties pages.


OCC announces enforcement actions

The OCC has issued a news release announcing new enforcement actions taken against national banks, federal savings associations, and individuals currently and formerly affiliated with national banks and federal savings associations.

  • A savings and loan association in Pascagoula, Mississippi, was ordered to pay a civil money penalty (CMP) of $35,000 to the National Flood Insurance Program for a pattern or practice of violations of the Flood Act and its implementing regulations relating to the requirement to purchase flood insurance when available and to the forced placement of flood insurance.
  • Three former officials of a failed Texas bank were ordered to pay CMPs totaling $203,000; two of those officials were issued prohibition orders.
  • The former vice president and head bookkeeper of a Lebanon, Kentucky, bank was assessed a $5,000 CMP and issued an order of prohibition for concealing a shortfall in the bank's cashier's check account and for making unauthorized transfers from customer accounts to the cashier's check account in further efforts to conceal the shortfall.
  • The former head teller of Minnesota bank was issued an order of prohibition, having been found to have misappropriated approximately $81,501 from customers' accounts at the bank and to have made false entries into bank records (she made full restitution, plus interest).
  • The former regional president of a Meridian, Mississippi, bank was issued a prohibition order for obtaining a loan by forging the name of a bank customer, resulting in the charge-off of $72,000 (some of which has been repaid).


FTC alert for consumers who paid scammers via Western Union

The Federal Trade Commission has issued an alert to consumers who lost money to scammers who told them to pay via Western Union’s money transfer system between January 1, 2004, and January 19, 2017, that they can now file a claim to get their money back. The claims must be filed by February 12, 2018.


OFAC ends Cote d'Ivoire sanctions

OFAC has published a final rule removing from the Code of Federal Regulations the Côte d'Ivoire Sanctions Regulations as a result of the termination of the national emergency on which the regulations were based. The effective date is November 13, 2017.


Comptroller’s Background Investigations booklet revised

OCC Bulletin 2017-52, issued yesterday, announced the revision of the “Background Investigations” booklet of the Comptroller’s Licensing Manual. The revised booklet incorporates updated procedures and requirements following the integration of the functions of the Office of Thrift Supervision into the OCC in 2011, and the issuance of revised regulations that became effective July 1, 2015.


Treasury sanctions Venezuelan officials

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated ten current or former Venezuelan government officials pursuant to Executive Order 13692. These individuals are associated with undermining electoral processes, media censorship, or corruption in government-administered food programs in Venezuela. For details on the designated individuals, see our OFAC Update.

OFAC also announced its publication of two new Venezuela-related FAQs. The first pertains to the treatment of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) subsidiaries under Executive Order 13808 ("Imposing Additional Sanctions With Respect to the Situation in Venezuela"). The second deals with U.S. person participation in meetings about restructuring outstanding Venezuelan and PdVSA debt that existed prior to the effective date of Executive Order 13808.


Blanco named FinCEN Director

Treasury announced Wednesday that Kenneth A. Blanco has been named Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Mr. Blanco joins Treasury after serving as the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division at the United States Department of Justice. He has supervised many of the Criminal Division’s most significant national and international investigations into illicit finance, money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, and sanctions violations, including investigations of global financial institutions and money services businesses. Much of his work is in the international banking and financial services area, working and collaborating with international partners in countries such as Mexico, Colombia and Panama, among others. Mr. Blanco is expected to transition to FinCEN Director from his current position at the Department of Justice in the next month.


OFAC updates Cuban Assets Control Regulations

OFAC has published in the November 9, 2017, Federal Register a final rule amending the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 515, to implement the national security presidential memorandum issued by the president in June. The changes are intended to channel economic activities away from the Cuban military, intelligence, and security services, while maintaining opportunities for Americans to engage in authorized travel to Cuba and support the private, small business sector on the island. OFAC also published a number of new and updated Frequently Asked Questions and a Fact Sheet pertaining to the regulatory amendment. OFAC's action was coordinated with the State and Commerce Departments, each of which announced actions related to Cuba.


CFPB tips for spotting a scammer

A Bureau Blog article provides information on the tactics utilized by scammers and how to stop them. The article also details the approaches utilized by scammers who pretend to be government officials and what to do if contacted.


FATF guidance on info sharing and CDD

FATF also issued two new guidance documents. The first is guidance clarifying key FATF standards on information sharing with examples on overcoming obstacles to information sharing, both group-wide within financial groups, and between financial institutions which are not part of the same group. Sharing among financial institutions in the U.S. must, of course, conform to FinCEN regulations under USA PATRIOT Act section 314(b).

FATF also issued a new supplement to its 2013 guidance, which provides country examples of customer due diligence measures adapted to the context of financial inclusion.


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