FinCEN Implementation Lax, Senators Say

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A Bipartisan group of Senators has penned a letter to Andrea Gacki, Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), expressing serious concerns about the delay in implementing the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Whistleblower Improvement Act.

Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Elizabeth Warren (D-CA), and Raphael Warnock (D-GA) wrote noting the Act, passed passed over three years ago as part of the Corporate Transparency Act and later strengthened in 2022, aimed to incentivize whistleblowers to report sanctions violations and combat money laundering effectively.

Despite the bipartisan support it garnered, the senators noted significant delays in its execution.

Of particular concern was FinCEN's failure to establish a dedicated public website for the whistleblower program. This website would serve as a vital platform for potential whistleblowers to submit claims or tips, understand eligibility requirements for awards, and access statistics about the program.

The senators emphasized that FinCEN's current website fails to provide adequate guidance for whistleblowers and even directs private citizens to contact local law enforcement, undermining the purpose of the program.

Moreover, FinCEN has yet to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to govern the whistleblower program, further exacerbating the delay and leaving potential whistleblowers in limbo.

The senators underscored the critical role whistleblowers could play in providing essential information to law enforcement agencies, particularly in investigating and prosecuting violations of sanctions and anti-money laundering laws with national security implications. However, without clear procedures and protections for whistleblowers, the effectiveness of the program is compromised.

To address these issues, the senators posed a series of questions to Director Gacki, demanding specific timelines for the implementation of the whistleblower program, the creation of a public website, and transparency regarding the Financial Integrity Fund's activities.

In conclusion, the senators urged FinCEN to prioritize the full implementation of the AML whistleblower program, emphasizing its importance in preventing, detecting, and prosecuting criminal misconduct and fraud. They emphasized the need for timely action to ensure the program's effectiveness in safeguarding national security interests.

Full text of letter [HERE]