Alert January 03, 2012

FinCEN Assesses Civil Money Penalty Against Bank Employee Who Unlawfully Disclosed Filing of SAR to Subject to the SAR

FinCEN assessed a $25,000 civil money penalty against an individual, Mendoza, for willfully disclosing the existence of a Suspicious Activity Report (“SAR”) to a person involved in the transaction reported in the SAR.  Mendoza was an employee of a bank at the time of the unlawful disclosure and such disclosure is prohibited by the Federal Bank Secrecy Act.  Mendoza told the subject of the SAR that the SAR had been filed “and later solicited and accepted a bribe from the subject, in return for which Mendoza represented he would assist the subject with any ensuing bank proceedings or federal criminal investigation.”  The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California convicted Mendoza of “bribery and unlawful SAR disclosure.”  In addition to the $25,000 civil money penalty, Mendoza was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment.