WASHINGTON (10/15/15)--Funnel account activity was the standout trend in Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) filings in 2014, according to the latest report from the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
FinCEN’s second annual SAR Stats, published Wednesday, highlights how FinCEN uses SARs to track down criminals through their use of the financial system. It was based on SARs filed from March 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2014.
FinCEN defines a funnel account as an account that receives multiple cash deposits, often in amounts below the cash-reporting threshold, and from which funds are withdrawn in a different geographic area with little time between deposits and withdrawals.
According to FinCEN, funnel account activity was mentioned almost 10,000 times in SARs in 2014.The same references occurred no more than 123 times in 2012 and 2013.
Trends on the rise include false identity theft claims (up 1,800% from the 2012-2013 period), false statements (up 122% from 2012-2013) and circumvention of Chinese currency regulations (up 112% from the 2012-2013 period).
Fraudulent use of a Social Security number, suspicion about the use of funds, income discrepancy, identity fraud and employment discrepancy were the top reporting themes in 2014 among depository institutions. Each had a “noticeable increase” in 2014.
Other trends, including excessive cash payments, origination fraud and prepaid card fraud, saw decreases in 2014.
FinCEN also has launched an advanced SAR Stats database, searchable by industry type, date, suspicious activity type and others.
CUNA’s Bank Secrecy Act Conference, scheduled for Nov. 15-18 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will feature a presentation from FinCEN on SARs and their importance, as well as other security and compliance updates.