The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury that collects and analyzes information about financial transactions in order to combat domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.
|Financial Crimes Enforcement Network|
|Formed||April 25, 1990|
|Parent agency||Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence|
FinCEN's director expressed its mission in November 2013 as "to safeguard the financial system from illicit use, combat money laundering and promote national security." FinCEN serves as the U.S. Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and is one of 147 FIUs making up the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. FinCEN's self-described motto is "follow the money." The website states: "The primary motive of criminals is financial gain, and they leave financial trails as they try to launder the proceeds of crimes or attempt to spend their ill-gotten profits." It is a network bringing people and information together, by coordinating information sharing with law enforcement agencies, regulators and other partners in the financial industry.
FinCEN was established by order of the Secretary of the Treasury (Treasury Order Numbered 105-08) on April 25, 1990. In May 1994, its mission was broadened to include regulatory responsibilities, and in October 1994 the Treasury Department's precursor of FinCEN, the Office of Financial Enforcement was merged with FinCEN. On September 26, 2002, after Title III of the PATRIOT Act was passed, Treasury Order 180-01 made it an official bureau in the Department of the Treasury. In September 2012, FinCEN's information technology called FinCEN Portal and Query System migrated with 11 years of data into FinCEN Query, a search engine similar to Google. It is a "one stop shop" [sic] accessible via the FinCEN Portal allowing broad searches across more fields than before and returning more results. Since September 2012 FinCEN generates 4 new reports: Suspicious Activity Report (FinCEN SAR), Currency Transaction Report (FinCEN CTR), the Designation of Exempt Person (DOEP) and Registered Money Service Business (RMSB).
As of November 2013, FinCEN employed approximately 340 people mostly intelligence professionals with expertise in the financial industry, illicit finance, financial intelligence, the AML/CFT (money laundering/terrorist financing) regulatory regime, computer technology, and enforcement". The majority of the staff are permanent FinCEN personnel, with about 20 long-term detailees assigned from 13 different regulatory and law enforcement agencies. FinCEN shares information with dozens of intelligence agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Secret Service; the Internal Revenue Service; the Customs Service; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
The 2001 USA PATRIOT Act required the Secretary of the Treasury to create a secure network for the transmission of information to enforce the relevant regulations. FinCEN's regulations under Section 314(a) enable federal law enforcement agencies, through FinCEN, to reach out to more than 45,000 points of contact at more than 27,000 financial institutions to locate accounts and transactions of persons that may be involved in terrorist financing and/or money laundering. A web interface allows the person(s) designated in §314(a)(3)(A) to register and transmit information to FinCEN. The partnership between the financial community and law enforcement allows disparate bits of information to be identified, centralized, and rapidly evaluated.
As early as 2003 FinCEN disseminated information on "informal value transfer systems" (IVTS), including hawala, a network of people receiving money for the purpose of making the funds payable to a third party in another geographic location,... generally tak[ing] place outside of the conventional banking system through non-bank financial institutions or other business entities whose primary business activity may not be the transmission of money. On September 1, 2010, FinCEN issued a guidance on IVTS referencing United States v. Banki and hawala.
In July 2011, FinCEN added "other value that substitutes for currency" to its definition of money services businesses in preparation to adapt the respective rule to virtual currencies. On March 18, 2013 FinCEN issued a guidance regarding virtual currencies, according to which, exchangers and administrators, but not users of convertible virtual currency are considered money transmitters, and must comply with rules to prevent money laundering/terrorist financing ("AML/CFT") and other forms of financial crime, by record-keeping, reporting and registering with FinCEN. Jennifer Shasky Calvery, director of FinCEN said, "Virtual currencies are subject to the same rules as other currencies. … Basic money services business rules apply here."
At a November 2013 Senate hearing, Calvery stated, "It is in the best interest of virtual currency providers to comply with these regulations for a number of reasons. First is the idea of corporate responsibility," contrasting Bitcoin's understanding of a peer to peer system bypassing corporate financial institutions. She stated that FinCEN collaborates with the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, a congressionally-chartered forum called the "Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Advisory Group" and BSA Working Group to review and discuss new regulations and guidance, with the FBI-led "Virtual Currency Emerging Threats Working Group" (VCET) formed in early 2012, the FDIC-led "Cyber Fraud Working Group", the Terrorist Financing & Financial Crimes-led "Treasury Cyber Working Group", and with a community of other financial intelligence units. According to the Department of Justice, VCET members represent the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, multiple U.S. Attorney's Offices, and the Criminal Division's Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section and Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.
In 2009, the GAO found "opportunities" to improve "interagency and state examination coordination", noting that the federal banking regulators issued an interagency examination manual, that SEC, CFTC, and their respective self-regulatory organizations developed Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) examination modules, and that FinCEN and IRS examining nonbank financial institutions issued an examination manual for money services businesses. Therefore multiple regulators examine compliance of the BSA across industries and for some larger holding companies even within the same institution. Regulators need to promote greater consistency, coordination and information-sharing, reduce unnecessary regulatory burden, and find concerns across industries. FinCEN estimated that it would have data access agreements with 80 percent of state agencies that conduct BSA examinations after 2012.
Since FinCEN's inception in 1990 the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco has debated its benefits compared to its threat to privacy. FinCEN´s value is hard to gauge without publication of evidence. It does not disclose how many 'Suspicious Activity Reports' result in investigations, indictments or convictions, and no studies exist to tally how many reports are filed on innocent people. FinCEN and money laundering laws have been criticized for being expensive and relatively ineffective, while violating Fourth Amendment rights as an investigator may use FinCEN's government database system to investigate people instead of crimes.
It has also been alleged, that FinCEN's regulations against structuring are enforced unfairly and arbitrarily; for example, it was reported in 2012 that small businesses selling at farmers' markets have been targeted, while politically connected people like Eliot Spitzer were not prosecuted. Spitzers reasons for structuring were described as "innocent".
31 C.F.R. § 1010.100(ff)(5)(i)(A)
An address confidentiality program allows victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or other types of crime to receive mail at a confidential address, while keeping their actual address undisclosed. This is usually done through the state's Secretary of State's address or some other address which will legally substitute the agency's address for the victim's physical address on public records.
According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence,
Address Confidentiality Programs (ACP) and Confidential Voter Listings are programs administered by the state enabling victims of domestic violence (and sometime victims of sexual assault and/or stalking) to participate in the voting process without fear of being found by their abusers. ACPs generally provide a substitute address for all public records. Confidential Voter Listings only provide confidentiality on election-related public records.Casino regulations under the Bank Secrecy Act
Casinos in the United States which generate more than $1,000,000 in annual gaming revenues are required to report certain currency transactions to assist the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in uncovering money laundering activities and other financial crimes (including terrorist financing).
Although Title 31, also known as the Bank Secrecy Act, was originally focused on financial institutions, criminal use of banking services located within casinos created a need for additional regulations that were specific to casinos. Because large sums of currency are transacted through slot machines, gaming tables, automatic change machines, retail operations and the cage (banks), and with high frequency, the regulations were targeted at transactions in excess of $10,000. Casino regulation has been a topic of debate, prompting the United States Senate to have a hearing before the United States Congress in which Title 31 topics were discussed through testimony by industry experts such as Grant Eve, CPA and partner at Joseph Eve, Certified Public Accountants and Ernest Stevens Jr., Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association.Federal law enforcement in the United States
The federal government of the United States empowers a wide range of law enforcement agencies to maintain law and public order related to matters affecting the country as a whole.Financial intelligence
Financial intelligence (FININT) is the gathering of information about the financial affairs of entities of interest, to understand their nature and capabilities, and predict their intentions. Generally the term applies in the context of law enforcement and related activities.
One of the main purposes of financial intelligence is to identify financial transactions that may involve tax evasion, money laundering or some other criminal activity. FININT may also be involved in identifying financing of criminal and terrorist organisations.
Financial intelligence can be broken down into two main areas, collection and analysis. Collection is normally done by a government agency, known as a financial intelligence organisation or Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The agency will collect raw transactional information and Suspicious activity reports (SAR) usually provided by banks and other entities as part of regulatory requirements. Data may be shared with other countries through intergovernmental networks.
Analysis, may consist of scrutinizing a large volume of transactional data using data mining or data-matching techniques to identify persons potentially engaged in a particular activity. SARs can also be scrutinized and linked with other data to try and identify specific activity.First Merchant Bank (Northern Cyprus)
First Merchant Bank OSH Ltd (FMB) was an offshore bank of Northern Cyprus established in 1993. As an offshore bank it was not regulated by the Central Bank of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and not allowed to trade with Northern Cyprus residents. In August 2004 the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) designated it "a financial institution of primary money laundering concern" under Section 311 of the Patriot Act. The Northern Cyprus Ministry of Finance withdrew FMB's banking license in February 2007, and by April 2008 the bank's Ireland-registered major shareholder and its subsidiaries appeared defunct.This company is not associated with First Merchants Bank, National Association or First Merchants Corporation located in Muncie, Indiana USA.Hawala
Hawala or hewala (Arabic: حِوالة ḥawāla, meaning transfer or sometimes trust), also known as havaleh in Persian, or hundi (हुण्डी huṇḍī) in Hindi or—in Somali, xawala or xawilaad—is a popular and informal value transfer system based not on the movement of cash, or on telegraph or computer network wire transfers between banks, but instead on the performance and honour of a huge network of money brokers (known as hawaladars). While hawaladars are spread throughout the world, they are primarily located in the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the Indian subcontinent, operating outside of, or parallel to, traditional banking, financial channels, and remittance systems. Hawala follows Islamic traditions but its use is not limited to Muslims.Identity verification service
An identity verification service is used by businesses to ensure that users or customers provide information that is associated with the identity of a real person. The service may verify the authenticity of physical identity documents such as a drivers license or passport, called documentary verification, or may verify identity information against authoritative sources such as a credit bureau or government data, called non-documentary verification.
Identity verification service is used both online and in person to verify identity. These services are used by some social networking sites, Internet forums, dating sites and wikis to stop sockpuppetry, underage signups, spamming and illegal activities like harassment, scams, and money laundering. These services are required to establish bank accounts and other financial accounts in many jurisdictions. If a bank fails to meet compliance standards for certain directives, they risk having to deal with severe fines. For small banks, in particular, this could easily become a huge problem under certain directives without knowing it. This lack of knowledge could cause them financial ruin or, even worse, force them to shut down.It was developed to help companies comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) rules, identity verification is now a vital component to the transaction ecosystems of eCommerce companies, financial institutions, online gaming, and even social media. By adopting digital fraud prevention methods, businesses can achieve AML and KYC compliance while reducing the costs associated with fraud.In financial industries, verifying identity is often required by regulation known as Know Your Customer or Customer Identification Program. In the US, one of the many bodies regulating these procedures is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
A non-documentary identity verification requires the user or customer to provide personal identity data which is sent to the identity verification service. The service checks public and private databases for a match on the information provided. Optionally, knowledge-based authentication questions can be presented to the person providing the information to ensure that he or she is the owner of the identity. An identity "score" is calculated, and the identity of the user or customer is either given the "verified" status, or not, based on the score.Customers of various businesses, such as retail merchants, government entities or financial institutions, are often required to present an identification to complete a transaction. For instance, a merchant may require customer identification for various types of purchases (e.g., alcohol, lottery or tobacco purchases) or when certain types of payments (e.g., checks, credit cards) are presented to pay for transactions. Financial institutions usually require customers to present an identification to complete a withdrawal or deposit transaction, cash a check, or open a new account. Government entities may require identification for access into secure areas or other purposes. Other businesses may also require identification from customers.
There is another method that is present in the market and that is artificial intelligence based ID verification. In this process, ID verification is performed through webcam. Mostly result is also available in real time as well.Investigative Data Warehouse
The Investigative Data Warehouse (IDW), is a searchable database operated by the FBI. It was created in 2004. Much of the nature and scope of the database is classified. The database is a centralization of multiple federal and state databases, including criminal records from various law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and public records databases. According to Michael Morehart's testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services in 2006, the "IDW is a centralized, web-enabled, closed system repository for intelligence and investigative data. This system, maintained by the FBI, allows appropriately trained and authorized personnel throughout the country to query for information of relevance to investigative and intelligence matters."Jennifer Shasky Calvery
Jennifer Shasky Calvery was the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the United States Department of the Treasury from September 22, 2012 until May 27, 2016. Her prior experience included 15 years at the Department of Justice. On April 16, 2016, she announced she would be leaving the position effective on May 27, 2016. She took "a top post at HSBC Holdings Plc."Jimmy Gurulé
Jimmy Gurulé is an American attorney, academic and government official, who is a Professor at Notre Dame Law School, teaching criminal law courses. He was the first Hispanic Assistant Attorney General in the United States.Gurulé was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate as the United States Department of the Treasury's Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, serving from 2001 until 2003. As Under Secretary for Enforcement, Gurulé provided oversight, policy guidance, and support to the Treasury law enforcement components: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the U.S. Customs Service; the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center; the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network; the U.S. Secret Service; the Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture; and the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Gurulé also provided enforcement policy guidance to the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation.
Gurulé began his career as a trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice in Washington D.C. He subsequently held the following positions: Deputy County Attorney in the Salt Lake City Attorney's Office; Assistant U.S. Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Major Narcotics Section of the Los Angeles branch of the U.S. Attorney's Office; and Assistant Attorney General (appointed by President George H.W. Bush in charge of the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs in Washington D.C.
He is also the author of several books on terrorist financing and counter-terrorism strategy.OFE
Ofe or OFE may refer to:
Ofe, in African American Vernacular English, a Yoruban pejorative for a white person
Ofè, Collines, Benin (West Africa)
Öfe, Turkish exonym for Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia
Office of Financial Education, office in the Office of Financial Institutions agency of the United States Department of Treasury
Office of Financial Enforcement, United States Department of Treasury office that merged with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in 1994
Old Friends Equine, equine (horse) retirement facility in Kentucky, USA
OpenForum Europe, a open source software and open standards advocacy organisation
Open Front End, interface for the Kodak prepress printing Approval proofer
Opera For Everyone, program of the Hawaii Opera Theatre
Operation Flying Eagle, humanitarian military operation for the 2005 Sumatra earthquake
Oxygen-free electronic, type of oxygen-free copperPatriot Act, Title III
The USA PATRIOT Act was passed by the United States Congress in 2001 as a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. It has ten titles, each containing numerous sections. Title III: International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001 is actually an act of Congress in its own right as well as being a title of the USA PATRIOT Act, and is intended to facilitate the prevention, detection and prosecution of international money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The title's sections primarily amend portions of the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 and the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970.
The provisions of Title III are divided into three subtitles. The first deals primarily with strengthening banking rules specifically against money laundering, especially on the international stage. Communication between law enforcement agencies and financial institutions, as well as among institutions, is expanded by the second subtitle, which also increases record keeping and reporting requirements. The final portion of the title deals with currency smuggling and counterfeiting, including quadrupling the maximum penalty for counterfeiting foreign currency.Payment service provider
A payment service provider (PSP) offers shops online services for accepting electronic payments by a variety of payment methods including credit card, bank-based payments such as direct debit, bank transfer, and real-time bank transfer based on online banking. Typically, they use a software as a service model and form a single payment gateway for their clients (merchants) to multiple payment methods.
Typically, a PSP can connect to multiple acquiring banks, card, and payment networks. In many cases, the PSP will fully manage these technical connections, relationships with the external network, and bank accounts. This makes the merchant less dependent on financial institutions and free from the task of establishing these connections directly, especially when operating internationally. Furthermore, by negotiating bulk deals they can often offer cheaper fees.
Furthermore, a full-service PSP can offer risk management services for card and bank based payments, transaction payment matching, reporting, fund remittance and fraud protection in addition to multi-currency functionality and services. Some PSPs provide services to process other next generation methods (payment systems) including cash payments, wallets, prepaid cards or vouchers, and even paper or e-check processing.
A PSP is thus a much broader term than a payment gateway which is how the payment card industry refers to them.
PSP fees are typically levied in one of two ways: as a percentage of each transaction or a fixed cost per transaction.
US-based on-line payment service providers are supervised by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (or FinCEN), a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury that collects and analyzes information about financial transactions in order to combat money laundering, terrorist financiers, and other financial crimes.
There are more than 900 payment providers in the world. More than 300 offer services for Europe and North America.Saint Kitts and Nevis passport
The Saint Kitts and Nevis passport is issued to citizens of Saint Kitts and Nevis for international travel. Prior to 1983, Saint Kitts and Nevis was an associated state of the United Kingdom. The passport is a Caricom passport as Saint Kitts and Nevis is a member of the Caribbean Community.Suspicious activity report
In financial regulation, a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) or Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) is a report made by a financial institution about suspicious or potentially suspicious activity. The criteria to decide when a report must be made varies from country to country, but generally is any financial transaction that does not make sense to the financial institution; is unusual for that particular client; or appears to be done only for the purpose of hiding or obfuscating another, separate transaction. The report is filed with that country's financial crime enforcement agency, which is typically a specialist agency designed to collect and analyse transactions and then report these to relevant law enforcement. Front line staff in the financial institution have the responsibility to identify transactions that may be suspicious and these are reported to a designated person that is responsible for reporting the suspicious transaction. The financial institution is not allowed to inform the client or parties involved in the transaction that a SAR has been lodged.
For example, in the United States, suspicious transaction reports must be reported to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an agency of the United States Department of the Treasury. In Australia the SAR must be reported to Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), an Australian government agency. Most countries have laws that require financial institutions to report suspicious transactions and will have a designated agency to receive them. The agency to which a report is required to be filed for a given country is typically part of the law enforcement or financial regulatory department of that country.Title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations
CFR Title 31 - Money and Finance: Treasury is one of fifty titles comprising the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Title 31 is the principal set of rules and regulations issued by federal agencies of the United States regarding money, finance, and the treasury. It is available in digital and printed form, and can be referenced online using the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR).Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence
The Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence is a position within the United States Department of the Treasury responsible for directing the Treasury's efforts to cut the lines of financial support for terrorists, fight financial crime, enforce economic sanctions against rogue nations, and combat the financial support of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The Under Secretary is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
The current Under Secretary is Sigal Mandelker, appointed by President Donald Trump, and confirmed to the position by the Senate on June 21, 2017.United States Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury (USDT) is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. Established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue, the Treasury prints all paper currency and mints all coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint, respectively; collects all federal taxes through the Internal Revenue Service; manages U.S. government debt instruments; licenses and supervises banks and thrift institutions; and advises the legislative and executive branches on matters of fiscal policy.The Department is administered by the Secretary of the Treasury, who is a member of the Cabinet. Senior advisor to the Secretary is the Treasurer of the United States. Signatures of both officials appear on all Federal Reserve notes.The first Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton, sworn into office on September 11, 1789. Hamilton was appointed by President George Washington on the recommendation of Robert Morris, Washington's first choice for the position, who had declined the appointment. Hamilton established—almost singlehandedly—the nation's early financial system and for several years was a major presence in Washington's administration. His portrait appears on the obverse of the ten-dollar bill, while the Treasury Department building is depicted on the reverse.The current Secretary of the Treasury is Steven Mnuchin, who was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 13, 2017. Jovita Carranza, appointed on April 28, 2017, is the incumbent treasurer.Virtual currency
Virtual currency, or virtual money, is a type of unregulated, digital money, which is issued and usually controlled by its developers and used and accepted among the members of a specific virtual community. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has warned investors against pump and dump schemes that use virtual currencies. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the US Treasury, defined virtual currency in its guidance published in 2013. In 2014, the European Banking Authority defined virtual currency as "a digital representation of value that is neither issued by a central bank or a public authority, nor necessarily attached to a fiat currency, but is accepted by natural or legal persons as a means of payment and can be transferred, stored or traded electronically". By contrast, a digital currency that is issued by a central bank is defined as "central bank digital currency".