The U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) "defines suspicious transactions as any transactions that involve potential money laundering or violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. It is any transaction conducted or attempted by, at or through a financial institution if the financial institution knows, suspects, or has reason to suspect that:
- "1. The transaction involves funds derived from illegal activities or is intended or conducted in order to hide or disguise funds or assets derived from illegal activities (including, without limitation, the ownership, nature, source, location, or control of such funds or assets) as part of a plan to violate or evade any law or regulation or to avoid any transaction reporting requirement under federal law;
- "2. The transaction is designed to evade any regulations promulgated under the Bank Secrecy Act; or
- "3. The transaction has no business or apparent lawful purpose or is not the sort in which the particular customer would normally be expected to engage, and the financial institution knows of no reasonable explanation for the transaction after examining the available facts, including the background and possible purpose of the transaction.
"If any of the above situations occur, the financial institution is required to file a report to FinCEN within 24 hours. The report provides information on the individual(s) involved in the suspicious transactions."
Related SourceWatch Resources
- 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."