To recognize agencies that use the Bank Secrecy Act to successfully prosecute financial criminals, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network presented its second annual Law Enforcement Awards May 10 to the FBI, IRS and the New York State Police, among other recipients.
“Without the valuable information that U.S. financial institutions provide, the significant cases recognized here today would likely never have seen the light of day,” FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery said at an awards ceremony held at the U.S. Department of Treasury.
The IRS was awarded for using suspicious activity and currency transaction reports to uncover a scheme in which a financial adviser depleted all of the financial resources of an impaired adult, according to a FinCEN news release. The perpetrator pled guilty to federal charges of money laundering and wire and mail fraud, and was ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution as well as spend several years in prison, the release stated.
The FBI earned an award for using more than 40 reports from U.S. financial institutions to uncover the illegal funneling of $8.5 million through the U.S. financial system, according to the release. Assets were seized “and other coordinated enforcement actions taken,” which “severely impacted the proliferators’ ability to acquire WMD (weapons of mass destruction) materials,” the release stated.
A third award was given to the New York State Police SAR Review Team in Albany which used financial institution reports that led to the capture and prosecution of a person spearheading an illegal drugs operation on a college campus, as well as the seizure of the drugs.
Awards were also given to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection National Targeting Center for its work in idenifying potential threats to U.S. security; and Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) for Operation Dirty Sole, which uncovered a large-scale smuggling and mail and wire fraud scheme.
“These awards represent a small sample of the work that goes on every day, across our country and with international partners across the world, to fight financial crime and terrorist finance,” Shasky Calvery said in the release.
FinCEN started the awards program in 2015 when it recognized the the Boston Police Department and the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, among others. Shasky Calvery said FinCEN will continue to recognize the partnership between law-enforcement and the financial industry with the annual awards.
For more details, visit https://www.fincen.gov/news_room/nr/html/20160510.html.