TX bank to pay $8 million in penalties set by FinCEN, OCC over BSA violations

Civil money penalties totaling $8 million are to be paid by CommunityBank of Texas, N.A., over violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and implementing rules, according to consent orders announced Thursday by Treasury’s financial crimes enforcement unit and the national bank regulator.

In a release, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said the violations occurred from at least 2015 through 2019 and “caused millions of dollars in suspicious transactions to go unreported to FinCEN in a timely and accurate manner, including transactions connected to tax evasion, illegal gambling, money laundering, and other financial crimes.” More specifically, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said the bank failed to timely report some $100 million of suspicious activity.

To resolve the matter, FinCEN said, CommunityBank of Texas admitted that it:

  • willfully failed to implement and maintain an effective anti-money laundering (AML) program that was reasonably designed to guard against money laundering; and
  • willfully failed to report hundreds of suspicious transactions to FinCEN involving illegal financial activity by its customers and processed by, at, or through the bank even after the bank became aware that certain customers were subjects of criminal investigations.

The $8 million in fines represents the net of those assessed by FinCEN, which assessed $8 million; and the OCC, which assessed $1 million. FinCEN said it is crediting the bank for the $1 million paid to the OCC against its own, larger fine, but will require full $8 million if the bank fails to pay the OCC fine.

FinCEN Announces $8 Million Civil Money Penalty against CommunityBank of Texas, National Association for Violations of the Bank Secrecy Act

OCC Assesses $1 Million Civil Money Penalty Against CommunityBank of Texas For Violations of the Bank Secrecy Act