|Bank Secrecy Act|
|CITATION||31 U.S.C. §§ 5311-5314e|
The Bank Secrecy Act was passed to fight money laundering in the U.S. The BSA requires businesses to keep records and file reports that are determined to have a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax and regulatory matters. The documents filed by businesses under the BSA are heavily used by law enforcement agencies, both domestic and international, to identify, detect and deter money laundering.
The BSA requires U.S. financial institutions to keep records of cash purchases of negotiable instruments, file reports of cash transactions exceeding $10,000 (daily aggregate amount) and to report suspicious activity that might signify money laundering, tax evasion and other criminal activity.
|DATA COVERED||Reports on domestic coins and currency transactions; records and reports on foreign financial agency transactions; reports on foreign currency transactions; reports on exporting and importing monetary instruments.|
Applies to “financial institutions” which means:
For civil violations, individuals are liable to the U.S. Government for a civil penalty of not more than the greater of the amount (not to exceed $100,000) involved in the transaction or $25,000.
The Act also provides for criminal penalties for those who willfully violate the regulations prescribed under the law. Violators can be fined not more than $250,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years or both. For those who willfully violate Section 5315 or 4324 of the law or certain other related sections, and is found to be 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.
Financial institutions or agencies that violate Section 5318 or 5318A, can be fined an amount equal to not less than 2 times the amount of the transaction, but not more than $1,000,000.