Citigroup subsidiary to pay $97.44 million after allegations of violating Bank Secrecy Act

By Mark Iandolo | Jun 2, 2017

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced May 22 that Banamex USA (BUSA), a Los Angeles-based financial institution and a subsidiary of Citigroup Inc, will forfeit $97.44 million and enter into a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) after allegations that BUSA committed Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) violations.

The announcement was made by Kenneth A. Blanco, acting assistant attorney general of the department’s Criminal Division.

According to allegations, BUSA failed to properly maintain an effective anti-money laundering (AML) compliance program. The company did not have appropriate policies, procedures, and controls to guard against money laundering. Additionally, it failed to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). Between 2007 and 2012, BUSA processed more than 30 million remittance transactions worth roughly $8.8 billion to Mexico. The company’s monitoring system delivered more than 18,000 alerts during this same time period about suspicious remittance transactions.

The Justice Department says BUSA failed to file any SARs during the time period. The company also allegedly failed to take proper steps to improve its MBS remittance program.

Handling the case for the department were senior trial attorney Jennifer E. Ambuehl and trial attorney J. Randall Warden of the Criminal Division’s money laundering and asset recovery section, bank integrity unit. Assistant U.S. attorneys David J. D’Addio and James E. Arnold of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts provided assistance.

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