Category Archives : Suspicious Activity Reports


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 »


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 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 »


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.  


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »