FinCEN Imposes $100,000 Penalty on Former Credit Union BSA Officer for Violating Bank Secrecy Act
February 1, 2024
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) under the US Treasury has imposed a $100,000 civil money penalty on Gyanendra Kumar Asre for deliberately violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its implementing regulations. As a part of the civil enforcement investigation, FinCEN’s actions also involve a five-year ban, prohibiting Asre from managing any operation in the financial institutions governed by the BSA.
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Gyanendra Kumar Asre previously held positions as a partner, chairman, officer, or employee at New York State Employee’s Federal Credit Union (NYSEFCU). As per BSA and its implementing regulations, NYSEFCU is qualified as both a credit union and a financial institution. Asre also served as chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) at DDH Group LLC, recognized as a money service business under BSA.
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BSA and its implementing regulations mandate financial institutions and credit unions to establish efficient AML controls and show adequate compliance. Credit unions are particularly required to detect and report suspicious activities to FinCEN through SARs (suspicious activity reporting). Asre has reportedly admitted his willful non-compliance with BSA regulations.
Talking about Asre’s inability to implement proper AML controls and allowing the movement of funds without reporting suspicious transactions, Andrea Gacki, FinCEN Director, reportedly stated,
“Asre allowed millions of dollars in high-risk transactions to be processed without required anti-money laundering controls or reporting to FinCEN,”
She further stated,
“Today’s action serves as a reminder that FinCEN will not hesitate to take action against individuals when their conduct jeopardizes the integrity of our financial system.”
Asre neglected to officially register his money service business (MSB) with FinCEN. Additionally, as a compliance officer at BSA in a credit union, he didn’t show any compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations and failed to detect and report suspicious transactions. FinCEN further reported that during Asre’s tenure as a compliance officer, the credit unit experienced a notable surge in its risk profile, largely due to the provision of service to unregistered MSB.
In the face of escalated risk, Asre failed to establish efficient AML controls leading to the movement of hundreds of millions of dollars in high-risk and suspicious transactions. This includes significant bulk cash transactions, through the credit union, without any adequate monitoring or reporting to FinCEN.
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