FinCEN Imposes $100,000 Penalty on a Former Compliance Officer for Bank Secrecy Act Violations

News / FinCEN Fines Officer $100K for Bank Secrecy Breach

Washington, D.C., January 31, 2024 - In a decisive move to safeguard the integrity of the United States financial system, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced a significant enforcement action against Gyanendra Kumar Asre. Asre faces a $100,000 civil money penalty for his willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its implementing regulations. This penalty is accompanied by a stringent five-year prohibition from participating in the affairs of any financial institution regulated under the BSA.

A Breach of Trust and Regulation

Gyanendra Kumar Asre's actions have raised serious concerns about the oversight and management of anti-money laundering (AML) controls within the financial sector. As the BSA Compliance Officer at a credit union, Asre was in a pivotal position to prevent money laundering activities. However, his failure to register his money services business (MSB) with FinCEN, coupled with inadequate AML program management, allowed millions of dollars in high-risk transactions to flow unchecked through the financial system.

Key Violations and Consequences

  • Failure to Register MSB: Asre neglected the critical step of registering his MSB with FinCEN, a fundamental requirement for operating within legal and regulatory frameworks.
  • Ineffective AML Controls: Under Asre's watch, the credit union's AML program fell short of addressing and mitigating the risks associated with high-volume, high-risk financial transactions.
  • Unreported Suspicious Transactions: Hundreds of millions of dollars in suspicious transactions, including significant bulk cash deposits, were not detected or reported to FinCEN, as mandated by the BSA.

Collaborative Efforts Lead to Accountability

FinCEN's investigation and subsequent enforcement action against Asre were bolstered by close collaboration with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the Department of Justice Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS). This partnership underscores the commitment of federal agencies to work together in the fight against money laundering and financial crimes.

As part of the resolution of this case, Asre has entered a guilty plea for criminally violating the BSA in a parallel criminal matter handled by MLARS. This plea marks a significant step forward in holding individuals accountable for undermining the financial system's integrity through neglect or willful non-compliance with regulatory requirements.

A Warning to Financial Professionals

FinCEN Director Andrea Gacki emphasized the importance of this enforcement action, stating, "Today’s action serves as a reminder that FinCEN will not hesitate to take action against individuals when their conduct jeopardizes the integrity of our financial system."

This case serves as a stark warning to financial professionals and institutions about the critical importance of adhering to AML and BSA regulations.

Moving Forward: The Importance of Compliance

The enforcement action against Gyanendra Kumar Asre highlights the need for rigorous compliance with financial regulations designed to prevent money laundering and protect the integrity of the financial system. Financial institutions and their employees must prioritize the implementation of effective AML controls and the timely reporting of suspicious activities to regulatory authorities.

For more detailed information regarding the specific violations, underlying causes, and terms of the Consent Order between FinCEN and Asre, interested parties are encouraged to review the official documentation made available by FinCEN.

This case reaffirms the U.S. government's unwavering commitment to enforcing financial regulations and ensuring the security and transparency of the financial sector. It serves as a reminder of the personal and professional consequences of failing to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act and its associated regulations.

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