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Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

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"The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is a network, as reflected by its name. It brings people and information together to fight the complex problem of money laundering, linking federal, state, local and international law enforcement, regulatory and financial communities together for the purpose of preventing and detecting financial crimes.

"FinCEN's ability to fulfill its mission is predicated upon the strategy of building crosscutting relationships between its law enforcement and regulatory partners. In turn, these partnerships lead to the forging of constructive working relationships amongst the many sectors of the rapidly changing financial services industry.

"The foundation of FinCEN's core mission--informational and analytical support for law enforcement--is the effective administration of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). Enacted in 1970, the BSA is the nation's first and most comprehensive anti-money laundering statute. The law's recordkeeping and reporting requirements establish a financial trail for investigators to follow as they track criminals, their activities and their assets. FinCEN adds value to the information collected under the BSA by uncovering leads and hidden pieces of the puzzles contained in money laundering schemes--schemes that can be highly convoluted as well as global in scope.

"The mission of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is to support law enforcement investigative efforts and foster interagency and global cooperation against domestic and international financial crimes; and to provide U.S. policy makers with strategic analyses of domestic and worldwide trends and patterns. FinCEN works toward those ends through information collection, analysis and sharing, as well as technological assistance and innovative, cost-effective implementation of the Bank Secrecy Act and other Treasury authorities. Safeguarding the privacy of the data it collects is an overriding responsibility of the agency and its employees--a responsibility that strongly imprints all of its data management functions and indeed, all that the agency does.

"The use of technology is a critical element in FinCEN's mission. In order to be responsive to its diverse partners , the agency leverages its resources through the effective use of its network and the innovative application of technology.

"Technology such as data extraction, data mining and leading edge analytical tools enhance the analysis and manipulation of BSA data--identifying and linking related information to add value to what is already known by investigators, enabling analysts to identify trends and patterns in money laundering and other financial crimes, and linking BSA data with other information to identify suspicious activity tied to organized crime groups.

"Since timeliness of delivery is just as important as the quality of the product in today's 'Information Age,' FinCEN's technical experts continue to work towards expanding the agency's capability to disseminate and share information quickly and securely.

"FinCEN provides intelligence and analytical support to more than 150 federal, state, local and international law enforcement agencies to support financial criminal investigations. FinCEN's intelligence analysts, using state-of-the-art technology, combine Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) information from a variety of data sources and link together various elements of crime.

"FinCEN's regulatory partners at the federal level include the federal financial regulatory agencies--Federal Reserve Board, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Thrift Supervision, National Credit Union Administration and Securities and Exchange Commission--and the financial services industry. By working closely with these agencies, FinCEN is better able to achieve its regulatory mission--the promulgation of effective regulations under the BSA, compliance outreach efforts, and initiation of regulatory enforcement actions.

"FinCEN works closely with the financial services industry which plays a key consultative role in FinCEN's regulatory process. It makes a continuous effort to work with industry representatives to ensure that existing and proposed regulations provide the data that law enforcement needs to combat money laundering without placing an undue burden on the industry."

Source: FinCEN.gov Network.

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External links

  • Bush Signs Bill Expanding FBI Authority, AP, December 14, 2003: "The bill expands the number of businesses from which the FBI and other U.S. authorities conducting intelligence work can demand financial records without seeking court approval. ... Under current law, 'national security letters' can be issued to traditional financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, to require them to turn over information. The bill expands the definition of financial institution to include other businesses that deal with large amounts of cash."