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02/10/2017

FinCEN CMP caps adjusted

The Treasury Department's final rule adjusting maximum civil money penalties for inflation (see "OFAC CMP caps adjusted for inflation") also included adjustments to maximum CMP amounts for Bank Secrecy Act violations. The new maximum penalties are found in revised Table 1 of § 1010.821 of FinCEN's regulations at 31 CFR Part 1010, amended on publication, and applicable retroactively to penalty assessments since January 15, 2017.

02/10/2017

OFAC CMP caps adjusted for inflation

The Treasury Department has published, in today's Federal Ledger, a final rule to adjust OFAC-enforced civil monetary penalties (“CMPs”) for inflation as mandated by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (collectively referred to herein as “the Act”). This rule adjusts CMPs within the jurisdiction of OFAC to the maximum amount required by the Act. The rule is effective upon publication, and can be applied retroactively to violations since January 15, 2017.

As of January 15, the applicable statutory maximum civil penalty per violation for each statute enforced by OFAC is as follows:

  • International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) — greater of $289,238 or twice the amount of the underlying transaction;
  • Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA) — $85,236;
  • Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (FNKDA) — $1,437,153;
  • Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) — greater of $76,351 or twice the amount of which a financial institution was required to retain possession or control; and
  • Clean Diamond Trade Act (CDTA) — $13,066.

02/09/2017

OFAC publishes cyber-related FAQs

OFAC has provided four frequently asked questions (FAQS) related to the recently imposed sanctions on the Russian Federation's Federal Security Service and the issuance of General License 1 authorizing certain transactions otherwise prohibited under Executive Order (E.O.) 13694 of April 1, 2015 ("Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities"), as amended by E.O. 13757 of December 28, 2016 ("Taking Additional Steps to Address the National Emergency With Respect to Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities").

02/07/2017

OCC warns of scam

The OCC has issued Alert 2017-1 concerning a fictitious notification regarding the release of funds supposedly under the agency's control. Consumers have reported receiving phone calls indicating that the OCC is holding $11,000 on their behalf as a refund for illegal fees charged by their financial institutions. Any communication claiming that the OCC is involved in holding any funds for the benefit of any individual or entity is fraudulent. The OCC does not participate in the transfer of funds for, or on behalf of, individuals, business enterprises, or governmental entities.

02/06/2017

SEC accuses investment advisor of stealing $5M from clients

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Friday it has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York charging an investment adviser representative with stealing approximately $5 million from client accounts by initiating unauthorized wire transfers and issuing checks to third parties to cover personal expenses. The SEC alleges that Barry Connell, who worked in the New Jersey office of an unnamed major financial institution, conducted more than 100 unauthorized transactions by using falsified authorization forms misrepresenting that he received verbal requests from the clients.

02/06/2017

OFAC sanctions supporters of Iran missile program and Revolutionary Guard

OFAC has announced the imposition of sanctions against multiple entities and individuals involved in procuring technology and/or materials to support Iran’s ballistic missile program, as well as for acting for or on behalf of, or providing support to, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force. For additional information see our OFAC update.

02/03/2017

January FedFocus posted

Federal Reserve Bank Services has posted the January 2017 issue of FedFocus featuring an article marking the second anniversary of the release of the "Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System" paper. To commemorate another year of substantive industry progress and momentum across the payments industry, the Federal Reserve released "Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System – January 2017 Progress Report," which highlights accomplishments as well as plans for 2017.

02/02/2017

CSBS offers BSA/AML self-assessment tool

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors has released an optional BSA/AML self-assessment tool that can be used by a financial institution to help in its risk assessment process. The tool is not a substitute for other parts of an institution's BSA/AML risk management program, but can be a supplement for such programs. The tool (available as a .ZIP file), instructions and a tutorial can be found on the CSBC Job Aids webpage. Before attempting to download the file, check with your IT security staff to determine whether .ZIP file downloads are permitted.

02/01/2017

Prohibition notice issued by NCUA

The NCUA has announced it has issued a notice of prohibition under Section 205(d) of the National Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1785(d)) to a former employee of Southern Mississippi Federal Credit Union in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, who had pleaded guilty to a charge of embezzlement.

02/01/2017

Fed releases prohibition letters

The Federal Reserve Board has released nineteen Section 19 letters issued in July, August and September 2016. A Section 19 letter prohibits the named individual from becoming or continuing as an institution-affiliated party with respect to any insured depository institution, and is issued when a regulator is made aware that the individual has been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or breach of trust or money laundering, or has agreed to enter into a pretrial diversion or similar program in connection with a prosecution for such an offense. The prohibition requirement is found in Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 12 U.S.C. 1829, and is mirrored for insured credit unions in Section 205(d) of the National Credit Union Act, 12 U.S.C. 1785(d).

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