Lesson Eight – Penalties

It is important to know that both civil and criminal penalties exist for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, Anti-Money Laundering, and/or Suspicious Activity Reporting. This information should not be construed as comprehensive, limiting or legal advice. It is offered to give you a sense of the seriousness with which regulators view your company policies, and the degree to which violations may be penalized.

Penalties for these laws may vary depending upon the nature of the offense.

Corporate Penalties

Your company’s AML policy is  very important. All company personnel must be vigilant that  transactions they engage in on behalf of your company and/or you customers are completed in accordance with your AML policy. Violations of your AML policy could lead to significant ramifications, including but not limited to:

  • Warning
  • Demotion
  • Termination

 

Civil Penalties

Anyone connected with a domestic financial institution or non-financial business who willfully violates the BSA regulation; a regulation prescribed in section 21 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act; or section 123 of Public Law 91-508 faces a potential civil penalty equaling the amount involved in the transaction (up to $100,000) or $25,000.

For a violation of section 5318(a)(2) of this title or a regulation prescribed under section 5318(a)(2), a separate violation occurs for each day the violation continues and at each office, branch or place of business at which a violation occurs or continues.

A financial institution or agency that violates any provision of subsection (i) or (j) of section 5318, or any special measures imposed under section 5318A, or any regulation prescribed under subsection (i) or (j) of section 5318 or section 5318A, shall be fined in an amount equal to not less than two times the amount of the transaction, but not more than $1,000,000.

 

Criminal Penalties

In addition to corporate and civil penalties, potential criminal penalties can also apply. A person willfully violating BSA regulation prescribed under section 5315 or 5324, or willfully violating a regulation prescribed under section 21 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act or section 123 of Public Law 91-508, shall be fined not more than $250,000, or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.

A person willfully violating the BSA or willfully violating a regulation prescribed under section 21 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act or section 123 of Public Law 91-508, while violating another law of the United States or as part of a pattern of any illegal activity involving more than $100,000 in a 12-month period, shall be fined not more than $500,000, imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both.