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Banker's Toolbox, Inc., leaders in compliance solutions for financial institutions, announced the acquisition of Georgia-based MainStreet Technologies (MST). MST is an industry leader in the loan risk management space. This acquisition adds to a strong and growing portfolio of compliance-related solutions and will continue to enhance the value Banker's Toolbox brings to both their customers and the industry. (Read full press release here.)

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OFAC issues Finding of Violation

OFAC announced Tuesday it has issued a Finding of Violation to State Street Bank and Trust Company for violations of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations. OFAC found that, between January 1, 2012 and September 1, 2015, the bank, acting as trustee for a customer’s employee retirement plan, processed at least 45 pension payments totaling $11,365.44 to a plan participant who was a U.S. citizen with a U.S. bank account, but who resided in Iran. This matter was voluntarily self-disclosed to OFAC. There is no monetary penalty associated with a Finding of Violation.


FinCEN Innovation Hours program

FinCEN has announced an Innovation Hours Program to better shape and inform its ongoing engagement with Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) innovators. The Innovation Hours Program will provide financial technology and regulatory technology companies and financial institutions the opportunity to present their new and emerging innovative products and services to FinCEN. Technology demonstrations should highlight how these innovations work and how financial institutions might use them. FinCEN expects to hold events in the Washington D.C. metro area, as well as some regional events that focus on financial services-related innovation.

UPDATE: FinCEN published [84 FR 25120] a notice that the program will become effective on May 30, 2019, inviting meeting requests, which can be submitted via the Innovation Initiative webpage.


OCC to host workshops in Denver

The OCC will host two workshops at the Embassy Suites Denver - Stapleton in Denver, June 25-26, for directors of institutions supervised by the OCC.

  • The Risk Governance: Improving Director Effectiveness workshop on June 25 combines lectures, discussion, and exercises to provide practical information for directors to effectively measure and manage risks. The workshop also focuses on the OCC’s approach to risk-based supervision and major risks in the financial industry.
  • The Credit Risk: Directors Can Make a Difference workshop on June 26 focuses on credit risk within the loan portfolio, such as identifying trends and recognizing problems. The workshop also covers the roles of the board and management, how to stay informed of changes in credit risk, and how to effect change.


Senior Safe Act fact sheet

The Securities and Exchange Commission, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have issued a fact sheet to help raise awareness among broker-dealers, investment advisers, and transfer agents of the Senior Safe Act and how the Act’s immunity provisions work. The SEC's Seniors webpage provides information on the immunity and training provisions of the Act, as well as additional resources from the SEC, NASAA, and FINRA.


Refunds in rate reduction robocall scam

The Federal Trade Commission will mail 305 checks totaling $314,945 to consumers who paid up-front for worthless credit card interest rate reduction programs pitched by Payless Solutions using illegal robocalls. The complaint filed by the FTC and Florida Office of Attorney General, the Orlando-based defendants illegally called thousands of consumers nationwide—including many seniors—and claimed their program would save them at least $2,500 and enable them to pay off their debts more quickly. After convincing consumers to provide their credit card information, the defendants then charged between $300 and $4,999 up-front for their worthless service. The agencies also alleged that in some cases the defendants illegally charged consumers without their consent. The FTC is providing full refunds, which average more than $1,000 each, to consumers who lost money, as identified by the defendants’ records or by complaints the consumers filed with the FTC or any agency that submits complaints to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network.


Argentina-based narcotics trafficker sanctioned by OFAC

OFAC has identified the Argentina-based Goldpharma Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering Organization as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. OFAC also designated eight Argentine nationals for their role in the Goldpharma DTO/MLO, as well as nine entities located in Argentina, Colombia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. A Kingpin Act chart on the designated individuals was also published.

For identification information on the designated individuals and entities, see BankersOnline's OFAC Update, and note that there are several U.S. (Delaware, Florida, and Texas) addresses involved.


Counterfeit cashier's check alert

The OCC has posted an alert warning of counterfeit cashier’s checks of Farmers & Merchant’s National Bank, Nashville, Illinois. The bank reported at least four variations of counterfeit checks are in circulation using the bank’s routing number and are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a variety of online auction and job opportunity scams. For details, see BankersOnline's Alerts and Counterfeits listing.


Former marketing officer jailed 70 months for fraud

Ataollah Aminpour, former chief marketing officer of now-defunct Mirae Bank (Los Angeles) was sentenced on May 20, 2019, to 70 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme that caused the Koreatown-based lender to issue more than $15 million in fraudulent loans, and ultimately caused the bank to suffer severe losses. Aminpour, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to one felony count of making a false statement to a financial institution, was also ordered to pay $7,519,084 in restitution.

According to court documents, Aminpour held himself out as a successful businessman who could help people obtain financing for gas station and car wash businesses with little or no down payment. In some instances, Aminpour would identify a business for the borrower to purchase, and would negotiate the sales price. On the commercial loan applications that Aminpour would submit to the bank on behalf of the borrower, however, Aminpour would overstate the actual purchase price of the business, thereby causing the bank to issue inflated loan amounts that were not fully secured. For example, Aminpour made false statements to Mirae Bank in an application for a $4.2 million loan in connection with the purchase a car wash in Maywood. When he pleaded guilty, Aminpour admitted that, on the application, he falsely stated that the purchase price of the car wash was $6.65 million when the real purchase price was $3.25 million.

In his plea agreement, Aminpour further admitted that his scheme involved false statements in six loan applications submitted between November 2005 and February 2007 for loans totaling $16.7 million, and that losses on those loans exceeded $7.5 million. In addition to the loans charged as part of the fraud in this case, Aminpour referred approximately $150 million in loans to Mirae Bank, and the losses on those loans played a significant role in the bank’s collapse in 2009, according to court documents. The FDIC and Wilshire Bank, which acquired Mirae Bank’s assets from FDIC, together suffered more than $33 million in losses on the Aminpour-referred loans. Wilshire Bank was subsequently acquired by Bank of Hope.


OCC recommends central beneficial ownership data

Senior Deputy Comptroller for Bank Supervision Policy Grovetta N. Gardineer yesterday discussed efforts to protect the financial system from being misused for illegal purposes during a hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Gardineer specifically addressed the threats posed to our financial system by the use of shell companies and methods to better identify the true beneficial owners of assets.


Former Ohio branch manager banned from industry

The Federal Reserve Board has issued a consent order of prohibition and order to cease and desist to a former Fremont, Ohio, bank branch manager who, according to the order, embezzled approximately $266,039 in cash from bank tellers' drawers between 2009 and June 2018. Under the order, she and another party must fully comply with a payment agreement with the bank requiring reimbursement of the misappropriated funds in monthly installments.


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