FDIC orders $1.25 million penalty for Alma Bank (NY) over BSA violations

April orders also bar 3 from service in financial institutions

Alma Bank of Astoria, N.Y., was assessed a $1.25 million civil money penalty (CMP) in April over violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and related rules throughout a four-year period, according to one of the 17 administrative orders disclosed Friday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC).

The FDIC, in the April order, said it had reason to believe that Alma Bank violated the BSA and its implementing regulations from February 2013 through April 2017. No further specifics on the violations were stated in the consent order.

In all, the FDIC’s April orders included four involving CMPs. The other three were for violations of federal flood insurance requirements. These orders imposed CMPs of $18,812 against Bank of Bluffs, Bluffs, Ill.; $17,700 against FirstBank Puerto Rico, Santurce, P.R.; and $3,520 against Allegiance Bank, Houston, Texas.

The FDIC also in April issued two consent orders, three terminations of consent orders, five section 19 orders (lifting previous prohibitions), and three removal and prohibition orders.

The removal and prohibitions were for:

  • Robert Mark Whitmore, a former director of human resources for Spirit of Texas Bank, College Station, Texas, who FDIC said took raises and bonuses for himself without authority to do so;
  • Lauren Rene Jones, formerly the loan secretary for Spring Hill State Bank, Longview, Texas, who the agency said misappropriated more than $200,000 in bank proceeds; and
  • Jorgina C. Ellis, a former teller at American River Bank, Rancho Cordova, Calif., who FDIC said embezzled and/or stole funds from a customer’s account.

FDIC Makes Public April Enforcement Actions; No Administrative Hearings Scheduled for June 2019

April 2019 Enforcement Decisions and Orders