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FinCEN Targets Money Laundering Infrastructure with Geographic Targeting Order in Miami

FinCEN Targets Money Laundering Infrastructure with Geographic Targeting Order in Miami

On April 21, 2015 FinCEN issued another Geographic Targeted Order (“GTO”) in the Miami, Florida area to address Trade Based Money Laundering (“TBML”) activity involving drug cartels. This GTO follows a similar one issued against Los Angeles based businesses on October 2, 2014.

In practical terms, the GTOs impose reporting requirements on businesses that mirror anti-money laundering (“AML”) and Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) requirements applicable to financial institutions. The specific requirement is a reduction of the threshold amount required for businesses to file Form 8300. Instead of filing Form 8300 upon the receipt of more than $10,000 in cash, the requirement applies to receipt of cash of $3,000 or more. Significantly, businesses are required to aggregate multiple transactions from the same source that accumulate said amount in one banking day.

Most businesses that are not financial institutions lack a reliable, automated mechanism or tool to track and properly comply with the GTO. However, through Optima’s AML Compass businesses can comply with the monitoring, detection, reporting and record retention requirements that are embedded in the GTO.

Judging by the basis for FinCEN’s actions in Miami and Los Angeles, it is likely that other GTOs will soon follow in additional jurisdictions.

 

FinCEN’s Official Announcement

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a Geographic Targeting Order (GTO) today to about 700 Miami businesses to shed light on cash transactions that may be tied to trade-based money laundering schemes. These complex schemes are a primary method used by drug cartels, including the Sinaloa and Los Zetas, to launder their illicit proceeds. FinCEN’s order is aimed at disrupting the illicit financial infrastructure upon which these drug trafficking organizations rely.

News Release: http://www.fincen.gov/news_room/nr/pdf/20150421.pdf

Geographic Targeting Order: http://www.fincen.gov/news_room/nr/pdf/GTO_Miami.pdf

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