7 out of 8 named in OCC’s August enforcement orders, which set $124k in penalties, were from same bank in NJ

Civil money penalties totaling $124,000 were assessed against seven individuals, all formerly employed by or on the board of City National Bank of New Jersey (Newark), over risk issues and Bank Secrecy Act violations under consent orders executed in August with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and released this week.

The orders with the former City National Bank-affiliated parties, three of whom were also ordered to cease and desist, cited activities at the bank from about 2014 to mid-2019 that included recruiting high-risk customers without the requisite controls or control programs and violations of Bank Secrecy Act requirements, including suspicious activity report filing and BSA compliance program deficiencies. Orders with two former senior vice presidents noted those individuals’ involvement in BSA/anti-money laundering compliance activities. Those with the former board chair and directors also cited, variously, violations of consent orders issued in December 2010 and February 2018 and prompt corrective action orders issued in November 2018 and June 2019.

Those named and penalized were:

  • Preston D. Pinkett III, formerly board chairman, chief executive officer, and president, assessed a $70,000 penalty and ordered to cease and desist;
  • Ridhima Ahluwalia, former senior vice president and senior risk officer, assessed a $7,000 penalty and ordered to cease and desist;
  • Karen Highsmith, former senior vice president for organization, assessed a $6,000 penalty and ordered to cease and desist;
  • Roland Anglin, former director, assessed a $14,000 penalty;
  • Michael Hopson, former director, assessed a $14,000 penalty;
  • O’Neil Williams, former director, assessed a $10,000 penalty;
  • Lemar Whigham, former director, assessed a $3,000 penalty.

All but Anglin are to pay their fines in installments, the orders show.

Also in August, the OCC issued a prohibition order against Shantel Taffe, formerly a banker of People’s United Bank N.A. (Bridgeport, Conn.). The consent order states that Taffe, from March 9 to April 25, 2017, “stole physical cash from the cash drawer assigned to her and processed fraudulent ‘buy cash’ and ‘sell cash’ transactions so that her cash drawer appeared in balance.”

OCC Enforcement Actions