Category Archives : SARs


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 »


FinCEN Doesn’t Track Bias in SAR Filings. Should it?

  In my upcoming article titled “Unmasking Bias in AML Algorithms” in the September/October edition of ACAMS Today, I explore the potential for bias (racial, ethnic, religious, gender, etc.) in Anti-Money Laundering algorithms used by financial institutions to detect potential suspicious activity. The most serious outcome of activity flagged by an AML algorithm results in 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 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 »


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.  


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 »


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 »


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 »