Yearly Archives: 2014


How to Run a Successful Ponzi Scheme

Like any small business, Ponzi schemes can  be a flash in the pan or a long term endeavor, all depending on management. It is suspected that Madoff’s scheme went on for decades before it crumbled. The math behind running a long-term Ponzi scheme is fairly straightforward. If inflows and outflows are managed properly, the scheme more »


1st rule of SARs: You do not talk about SARs. 2nd rule of SARs: You do NOT talk about SARs.

SARs Rules #1 Do not talk about SARs #2 Do NOT talk about SARs   It may seem odd but the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) confidentiality  rules are almost identical to the Fight Club rules. While there are confidentiality exemptions for sharing information within a financial services institution or with law enforcement, there remains a more »


The Man in the Mirror: Employee Due Diligence

Fill in this blank:  __________________ Due Diligence. If you are like most AML professionals, “Customer” was the first and only answer that came to mind. The importance of Customer Due Diligence has been drummed into the mind of AML practitioners and is a common training topic. However, the recent indictment of a former TD Bank more »


What Crime is the Largest Source of Laundered Funds?

Drug dealers get the most attention but tax evasion is by far the largest source of laundered funds. DSA analyzed US crime estimates 1 and found that there is $14.06 in dirty money generated from tax evasion for every $1 generated by illegal drug sales. Similarly, tax evasion generates $3.81 dollars to every $1 for other more »


Alison Jimenez to Present on Employee Due Diligence at ACAMS Conference

  DSA president, Alison Jimenez, will be a panelist on the “Total Due Diligence: Know Your Customer, Vendors and Employees” presentation at the 13th Annual ACAMS AML and Financial Crime conference in Las Vegas. The presentation will be Tuesday, September 30th at 3:15. Ms. Jimenez will be speaking on Employee Due Diligence. Her fellow panelist more »


Customers are the Minority of SAR Subjects

Customers Represent the Minority of SAR Subjects for Most Institutions   DSA analyzed FinCEN’s SAR Stats report to assess the nature of the filer’s relationship with the SAR subject. Securities/Futures,Money Services Businesses (MSB), Insurance or Other Firms^ characterize the filer/subject relationship as “customer” in less than 1/3 of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).  The filer/subject relationship was more »


DSA to Present Ponzi Scheme / AML Webinar

DSA President, Alison Jimenez, will be among the presenters for an Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) webinar on Ponzi Schemes. The webinar will be held on November 25th, 2014. Jordan Maglich of Wiand Guerra King and the creator of PonziTracker.com will also be speaking.   Case Study: Dissecting the Inner Workings of Recent Ponzi more »


How is your State Suspicious? An Interactive Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) Map

Learn About Tableau     My goal was to create an interactive map of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to determine what customer activity was reported as “suspicious” in each state. I planned to then declare that “Mississippi Tops the Ranks in ___ Fraud” and “Ohio is the Riskiest State for ____.” Instead, I was schooled more »


Is 179,000,000 Bank Secrecy Act records enough?

FinCEN’s record retention policy is detailed in the “Request For Records Disposition Authority” that FinCEN submitted to the National Archives and Records Administration. FinCEN’s policy for retaining CTRs, FBARs and SARs is as follows: Delete/destroy data when 11 years old or when no longer needed for administrative, legal, audit, or other operational purposes, whichever is later. Older, more »


Which Broker/Dealers get Sued by Reps Most Often?

FINRA arbitration isn’t just for customer disputes. As DSA found, over half of FINRA arbitrations are non-customer related. A large portion of the non-customer disputes occur when Associated Persons sue their current or former broker/dealer employer. Allegations in Associated Person vs Member Firm cases often include: defamation, reformation of U-5, wrongful termination and compensation disputes. more »


1Q14 FINRA Disciplinary Actions: Law Firm Representation Stats

Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. (DSA) analyzed 1Q14 FINRA Disciplinary Actions Letters of Acceptance, Waiver & Consent (AWC) to determine legal representation trends. There were 164 AWCs during the first quarter of 2014. DSA broke down the analysis between disciplinary actions that named a firm versus those that named an individual. Broker/Dealers 67 AWCs named a Broker/Dealer more »


Should the Currency Transaction Report Threshold be $60,900?

When the Bank Secrecy Act passed in October 1970 with the $10,000 Currency Transaction Report (CTR) threshold, the average US annual salary was $6,186. A new car cost $3,900 and the Jackson 5’s song “I’ll be There” was number one on the Billboard charts. All that has changed, except for the Currency Transaction Report threshold.   more »


How do SARs and Federal Money Laundering Convictions Compare?

In 2012 there was 1 federal money laundering conviction per 2,047 Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) filed. If Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) are included, then there was 1 federal money laundering conviction for every 19,379 CTR & SAR filed. Looking at trends from 2003 through 2012, the number of federal money laundering cases commenced decreased by 26.8% while all SAR filings more »


DSA’s Ponzi Analytics cited by The Street

The Street published an article by Philip van Doorn titled “Ponzi Scheme Database May Shock You” in which Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc’s interactive Ponzi scheme visualization was cited. The first decade of the 21st century goes down as the “golden age” for Ponzi schemes. In the aftermath of Bernard Madoff’s epic 20-year scheme to defraud investors — more »


Ponzi Scheme Calculator: When will it Collapse?

[CP_CALCULATED_FIELDS id=”6″]   A ponzi schemer would follow these rules in order to keep the scheme going for as long as possible: Encourage “reinvestment” of income. The less income the schemer pays out, the longer the scheme will last. Moderate the amount stolen each year. If he steals a smaller amount each year, the scheme more »


Should AML Departments be renamed Anti-Predicate Crime?

DSA analyzed the SAR-SF filing data reported by FinCEN to determine whether firms more often report suspicious money laundering activity or suspected predicate crimes. Every Anti-Money Laundering (AML) intro course teaches that money laundering is composed of three steps: Introduction, Layering and Integration. However, first must come a crime that generates illicit proceeds. Predicate crimes more »


Analysis of 2013 FINRA Dispute Resolution Statistics

DSA analyzed how cases were closed through the FINRA dispute resolution process in 2013. Customer Cases FINRA reported that in 2013 there were 499 Customer Complaint cases decided by Arbitration (paper & hearing) and in 212 of these cases, the customer was awarded damages. Based on the statistics provided by FINRA, DSA determined: 2,772 Customer more »


DSA’s Analytics cited in Herald Tribune Article

DSA’s analysis of Florida Ponzi schemes in the post-Madoff era was cited in the Sarasota Herald Tribune front page story “Florida’s Wealth a Magnet for Ponzi Schemes” by John Hielscher. Hielscher cited DSA’s ranking of Florida ponzi schemes and sentencing comparisons. DSA president, Alison Jimenez, was quoted on why Florida ranked so high in the more »


Interactive Ponzi Scheme Analytics

DSA prepared interactive analytics of over 500 Ponzi schemes in the post-Madoff era. The schemes can be filtered and analyzed by year, state, dollar value and months sentenced per million $. DSA partnered with Jordan Maglich of PonziTracker.com on this project.     Learn About Tableau


Business Journal Features DSA’s Ponzi Analytics

The Tampa Bay and Jacksonville Business Journals featured DSA’s analytics of Florida Ponzi Schemes. Jane Meinhart quoted DSA president, Alison Jimenez, in the “Ponzi schemers at Home in Florida” article. DSA partnered with Jordan Maglich of Wiand Guerra King to prepare the analysis. The analysis shows Florida ranks third in the county in the total value more »