The FinCEN files are the result of extensive international research on money laundering and financial crime. They show how dirty money is shuffled around the world and how banks fail to stop this flow of money.
A review of the files casts a disturbing spotlight on the complex trail left by nearly $2 trillion (€1.7 trillion) of suspicious funds being maneuvered around the globe — and on the role of banks.
The FinCEN Files — dense bulletins full of technical information — are the most detailed USDT records ever leaked. They disclose suspicious transactions processed by major banks including Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase and Barclays.
SARs are not necessarily evidence of wrongdoing. They reflect the views of watchdogs within banks. Officially known as compliance officers, these individuals are obliged to report transactions which could possibly be connected to financial crime, such as money laundering or tax evasion, or activities involving clients with high-risk profiles or those who have had run-ins with the law. The USDT requires financial institutions operating in the US to file SARs with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, when they have reason to suspect a transaction may be in violation of regulations. The FinCEN is tasked with safeguarding the financial system from illicit use and money laundering. Failure to file SARs can expose banks to fines or penalties.
The dozens of prominent figures appearing in the documents read like a who’s who of well-connected political insiders. They include Paul Manafort, the former Donald Trump campaign manager, who was convicted of fraud and tax evasion. JP Morgan reported that it moved money between Manafort and his associate shell companies as recently as September 2017, long after his ties to Russian-connected Ukrainian officials and suspected money laundering had been widely reported.
In 2019 the US media outlet BuzzFeed News obtained a large cache of secret US Department of the Treasury (USDT) financial records and shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). These are the FinCEN Files, documents from the USDT’s regulatory bureau for safeguarding the financial system — the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Over the past 16 months, 400 journalists from 88 countries burrowed into the leaked records, conducted interviews with investigators and victims, poured over court and archival records and reviewed data on millions of transactions that took place between 1999 and 2017.
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