Category Archives : Anti-Money Laundering


Alison Jimenez to Present at #FinTech2017

Alison Jimenez will be a featured speaker at the Digital Finance Institute’s #FinTech2017 conference in Vancouver, Canada on May 3rd, 2017. Ms. Jimenez will be presenting on AML, FinTech and the legalized marijuana industry. Alison’s analysis of Suspicious Activity Reports involving marijuana related business has been cited by the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post and more »


Silicon Valley & Social Media at Center of Pyramid Scheme Surge

Pyramid Scheme SAR Filings Spike   Dynamic Securities Analytics (“DSA’) has identified a trend in pyramid schemers utilizing social media platforms to execute their fraud. DSA analyzed FinCEN SAR Stat data and found a 340% increase in pyramid scheme Suspicious Activity Report (‘SAR’) filings by Money Services Businesses (‘MSB’) in monthly filing rates in 2017 more »


2017 Securities Regulator AML Exam Priorities vs. SAR-SF Filings

Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. (“DSA”) reviewed the SEC’s and FINRA‘s 2017 exam priorities letters to identify AML areas of focus. There are a few areas where the two regulators’ priorities overlap: suspicious activity monitoring, cyber security and elder financial exploitation. The focus on elder abuse is a new area for the SEC this year whereas more »


2016 SAR Insights: Suitcases of Cash No Longer the Front-Runner in Public Corruption.

Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc (“DSA”) analyzed 2016 SAR filings reported in FinCEN’s SAR Stats database. DSA will be posting a series of articles on the analysis with today’s post covering financial instruments used in suspicious activity.   Visual Relationships The bubble chart below shows the relationships between Suspicious Activity Types, Products, Instrument (ie. payment mechanism) more »


2016 Suspicious Activity Reports: Most Industries Increase Filings, Securities the Exception. Elder Abuse has Largest Increase in SARs.

Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc (“DSA”) analyzed 2016 SAR filings reported in FinCEN’s SAR Stats database. DSA will be posting a series of articles on the analysis with today’s post providing a general overview and key findings.   Key Findings Elder abuse saw the largest jump in SAR filings with an increase of 117% over 2015 more »


Unmasking Bias in AML Algorithms

ACAMS Today published an article titled “Unmasking Bias in AML Algorithms” by DSA president, Alison Jimenez, in the Sept- Nov 2016 issue. As anti-money laundering (AML) departments increase their reliance on analytics and algorithms, the need to unmask potential bias in AML algorithms is a topic that can no longer be avoided.   The article more »


AML Training: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?

Part of the Problem Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) regulatory enforcement actions often cite poor AML training as contributing to the environment that allowed a violation to occur at a financial institution. Very often, the same enforcement action mandates more AML training. That makes me wonder why doing more of something that the financial institution was doing more »


Alison Jimenez quoted in article on AML & Marijuana Banking

The Tampa Bay Business Journal published an article titled “Financial crimes experts get in the weeds over marijuana banking services” by Margie Manning. DSA president, Alison Jimenez, was quoted several times about the challenges that financial institutions have dealing with state-legalized marijuana businesses.   The financial institutions often find themselves facing a Catch-22 situation, whether more »


Alison Jimenez to Present on Social Media & AML at ACAMS Conference

  Alison Jimenez, president of Dynamic Securities Analytics, will present on the topic “Mitigating Risks and Reaping Rewards of Social Media in AML/CTF Regimes” at the 2016 Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists conference in Las Vegas. Key Areas Covered Adapting onboarding processes that mitigate the unique payment platform, KYC and sanctions risks posed by more »


Alison Jimenez to Present on AML Regulatory Enforcement

  Alison Jimenez, president of Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. (DSA), will be a panelist for the July 19, 2016 Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) webinar “Achieving Compliance Efficiency Amid Heightened Regulatory Scrutiny.”  This is a one-hour complementary webinar offer by ACAMS. Learning Objectives Detailing increased scope and pace of enforcement actions to demonstrate more »


Alison Jimenez to Present on Hedge Funds at Anti-Money Laundering Conference

  DSA president, Alison Jimenez, will be speaking on a panel titled “Adopting Compliance Strategies for Banking Hedge Funds and other Alternative Investments” at the 22nd annual ACAMS AML & Financial Crimes conference.    


Alison Jimenez Interviewed by MoneyLaundering.com

Alison Jimenez, President of Dynamic Securities Analytics (“DSA”), was interviewed for an article titled “Securities Firms Offer Warm(er) Reception to Marijuana Industry, Says Former Examiner” by Larissa Bernardes of moneylaundering.com. The interview centered around securities firms’ interactions with state-legalized marijuana businesses. Below is a excerpt:   Which questions should broker-dealers be asking when they’re approached more »


DSA Partners with PonziTracker for 2015 Ponzi Scheme Analytics

Once again, Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. partnered with PonziTracker to create interactive analytics of Ponzi schemes uncovered or sentenced in 2015. There were 61 alleged Ponzi Schemes uncovered in 2015 while sentences were handed down for 69 schemes. The total value of the uncovered schemes was over $800 million. Read the full analysis at www.ponzitracker.com. more »


SEC vs. FINRA: 2016 AML Priorities

FINRA and the SEC recently released their respective 2016 exam & regulatory priorities. DSA reviewed the priorities for topics that directly or indirectly touch on AML issues. While there is overlap in the areas of cybersecurity, market manipulation and microcap securities, the two regulators diverge on other AML priorities. DSA prepared the comparison below:   more »


Credit Union Journal Features DSA’s Op-Ed

The Credit Union Journal published a slideshow version of Alison Jimenez’ Op-Ed on Marijuana Banking Myths. See the full article here.   DSA’s analysis of marijuana-related Suspicious Activity Reports was also cited in “Shh! Here’s How Cannabis Companies are Banking on the Low Down” by Bruce Barnett.  


Op-Ed on Marijuana Banking Published in American Banker

American Banker published an Op-Ed by DSA president Alison Jimenez, co-authored with Steven Kemmerling of MRB Monitor. The Op-Ed titled “Banks Weighing Pot Business Find Haze of Misinformation” explains and corrects five common myths regarding marijuana businesses and financial services.   Read the full article here.


Alison Jimenez Appointed to ACAMS Education Task Force

  Alison Jimenez, president of Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc (“DSA”), was recently appointed to the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (“ACAMS”) Education Task Force. ACAMS is the largest international organization, now at 30,000 members worldwide, dedicated to enhancing the knowledge and skills of AML and financial crime professionals from a wide range of industries with more »


Wall Street Journal cites DSA’s Analysis of SARs

Dynamic Securities Analytics’ analysis of marijuana-related SARs was cited by the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ: Risk and Compliance Journal included DSA’s analysis in the latest edition of “Corruption Currents.” See DSA’s analysis of securities broker’s engaging with marijuana-related businesses here and how the latest SAR data has international implications here.


Dynamic Securities Analytics cited in American Banker

Dynamics Securities Analytics, Inc. was cited in a recent American Banker article titled “Legal Clash Exposes Contradictions in Fed’s Pot-Banking Rules” by Chris Cummings.   Read DSA’s blog post “New Marijuana Banking SAR Data has International Implications” to learn more about how financial institutions are engaging with marijuana-related businesses.


New Marijuana Banking SAR Data has International Implications

By Alison Jimenez, Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. and Steven Kemmerling, MRB Monitor   The quickly-growing state-legalized marijuana industry creates a number of unique compliance and AML/BSA challenges for Financial Institutions (“FIs”).^ MRB Monitor, which helps financial institutions mitigate risk related to the industry, has identified 8,000+  Marijuana Related Businesses (“MRBs”). As such, it may be naïve to more »


Securities Brokers have (Relatively) Open Arms to Marijuana Businesses

By Alison Jimenez, Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. and Steven Kemmerling, MRB Monitor Securities Brokers Engaging with Marijuana Businesses   Forty-one securities brokers filed Suspicious Activity Reports (“SARs”) regarding Marijuana Related Businesses from February 2014 through July 1, 2015.  The count includes securities firms that terminated marijuana accounts. Securities brokers accounted for 8% of the financial more »


DSA’s Analysis of Suspicious Activity Reports cited in ACAMS Today

The latest issue of ACAMS Today features an article by Steven Kemmerling and Brian Arrington titled “Conflict and Uncertainty: Due Diligence Challenges for Marijuana-Related Businesses.” The article cites DSA’s analysis of marijuana-related Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). The full article can be read here.    


Federal Marijuana Banking Bill Leaves Key Issues Unresolved

The Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015 bill’s stated purpose is: to create protections for depository institutions that provide financial services to marijuana-related businesses, and for other purposes.  A press release by one of the co-sponsors, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), points out the following: “Forcing businessmen and businesswomen who are operating legally under Oregon state law more »


Why 35% of Broker-Dealers File Zero SARs.

It’s Suspicious to Not be Suspicious   SEC Enforcement Chief Andrew Ceresney made headlines when he said:   I can say that the number of firms that filed zero SARs or one SAR per year was disturbingly large. Unfortunately, Chief Ceresney did not provide the number of broker-dealer firms that filed zero or 1 SAR more »


What does Bribery Look Like?

Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. (“DSA”) analyzed Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) filed with FinCEN from March 2012 through March 2015 that identified “Bribery/Gratuity” as the activity at issue. The analysis was undertaken to understand the characteristics of customer activity identified as potential bribery from a financial institution’s viewpoint.   Key Takeaways:   1,780 SARs were filed more »


FIFA Indictment & Conviction Roster

Get the latest stats on the individuals and entities under indictment or convicted in the FIFA corruption scandal. Search the roster by charge, charge status, and nationality. See the bottom table for key stats like age, title and role.    FIFA Indictment & Conviction Roster


What do the Dennis Hastert & FIFA Indictments have in Common?

In the modern age of bitcoin and computer algorithms, it appears that old-fashioned cash transactions initially tipped off the government to the alleged crimes by former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert and FIFA officials. Money laundering can be quite complex. For example, one of the alleged schemes in the FIFA indictment involved moving funds more »


Alison Jimenez to Present on Marijuana Industry & Insider Fraud at AML Conference

DSA president, Alison Jimenez, will speak on two anti-money laundering topics at this fall’s Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) conference in Las Vegas. On September 28th, Alison will be part of a panel discussion titled “This Joint is Jumping: Practical Coping Strategies for Ever-Shifting Marijuana Laws” and on the 29th, she will present more »


Suspicious Activity Reports for Market Manipulation Spikes

On April 22nd, 2015 FinCEN released In Focus: SAR Stats (April 2015). Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. (“DSA“) analyzed the new Suspicious Activity Report-Securities/Futures (“SAR-SF”) data and found that Market Manipulation/Wash Trades SARs have increased 63% from 2014 and 105% from 2013 levels (on a quarterly basis)*. The same day FinCEN released the latest SAR Stats, Navinder more »


Alison Jimenez to Present at American Banker AML/KYC Webinar

DSA President, Alison Jimenez, will be a featured speaker for the upcoming American Banker webinar “Managing AML/KYC Compliance Risk, Rather Than Avoiding It.” The live webinar will be held May 11th from 12:00-1:00 EST. Registration is available through the American Banker website. A description of the webinar can be found below.   Complimentary Web Seminar May 11, more »


DSA’s Analysis of Suspicious Activity Reports cited in Huffington Post

Matt Ferner of the Huffington Post cited DSA’s analysis of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in his article titled “Some Banks are Working with Marijuana Businesses, but they Remain Wary.”  DSA president, Alison Jimenez, was also quoted in the article. See an excerpt below:   DSA notes the total reports (SARs) filed add up to 3,341 more »


DSA cited in Wall Street Journal

Rachel Louise Ensign of the Wall Street Journal reported on DSA’s analysis of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) regarding marijuana-related businesses.   “More than 1,700 suspicious activity reports using the phrase “marijuana limited” have been filed from 25 states since the agency of the U.S. Department of the Treasury in February advised financial institutions to use more »


Alison Jimenez to Present at ACAMS Conference on Anti-Fraud Firewalls

Dynamic Securities Analytic Inc. president, Alison Jimenez, will present a workshop on “Building Robust Anti-Fraud Firewalls” at the 20th Annual Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) conference in Hollywood, Florida on March 18th. ACAMS is the largest international membership organization dedicated to enhancing the knowledge and skills of AML and financial crime professionals from more »


Ponzi Schemes Continue to Proliferate in 2014

Jordan Maglich of Ponzitracker.com wrote an in depth article that analyzed Ponzi schemes revealed and sentenced in 2014. See the excerpt below or read the full article here. Despite a burgeoning economy, increased regulation, and heightening scrutiny on financial crime, data compiled by Ponzitracker shows that Ponzi schemes continued to be uncovered at a steady pace more »


45% Spike in SAR- Securities & Futures in 2014

Dynamic Securities Analytics analyzed the latest FinCEN In Focus: SAR Stat report and found that SAR-Securities & Futures filings increased by 45% in 2014 over 2013 filings. 22,448 SAR-SFs were filed in 2014 versus 15,457 in 2013. Try out DSA’s interactive analytics below. SAR-SFs can be filtered by activity type, percentage and count change from more »


2014 Suspicious Activity Report filings Jump 35%

FinCEN released In Focus: SAR Stats (Jan 2015 Quarterly Update) which includes all 2014 Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). In total, FinCEN reported 1,726,731 SARs filed in 2014 compared against 1,276,002 filed in 2013. This is a 35% increase in SAR filings over the 2013 levels. Major Increases in Most Industries   Dynamic Securities Analytics, Inc. analyzed the FinCEN more »


Alison Jimenez to Present on Problem Employees & AML Risk

  DSA President, Alison Jimenez, will be a speaker for the upcoming Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (ACAMS) webinar “Spotting and Removing Problem Employees.” The live webinar will be held May 13th from 12:00-2:00 EST. Registration is available through the ACAMS website. A full description of the webinar can be found below. Spotting and more »


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 »


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?

  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 will last 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 »


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 »


The Cost of Not Conducting an Independent AML Audit

If you are an AMLCO or CCO who must justify the cost of your firm’s annual independent AML audit, the PDF  Download FINRA 2010 AML Audit fines should help you.  The cost of not conducting an independent anti-money laundering audit is steep. The PDF contains excerpts compiled from 2010  FINRA Monthly Disciplinary Reports.  Fines were imposed for either more »


Are Nebraskans Really the Most Suspicious People in the Nation?

If you gauge suspicious activity by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) “By the Numbers” report on the Securities & Futures Industries, then yes.  By FinCEN’s tally, Nebraska accounted for 7.31% of all SAR-SF filings from January 1, 2003 through June 30, 2008. Three states had higher counts (New York, Massachusetts & California) but Nebraska is more »