Money Laundering:

Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

GGD-91-53: Published: Mar 18, 1991. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of the Treasury's newly established Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), focusing on its purpose, functions, organization, and staffing.

GAO found that: (1) Treasury established FinCEN to support federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement offices in their efforts to investigate and prosecute money laundering schemes; (2) FinCEN provided intelligence analysis that identified money laundering trends and patterns as well as specific offenders; (3) FinCEN provided specially trained investigators to document money laundering violations and trace the criminal activity proceeds; (4) FinCEN operated a communications center that answered law enforcement agencies' requests for data and information; (5) FinCEN helped to coordinate the efforts of other law enforcement agencies and prevent duplication of effort; (6) FinCEN needed to improve its effectiveness in money laundering investigations by centralizing intelligence gathering and analysis; (7) FinCEN success will ultimately be measured by the extent to which other agencies rely upon it for and use timely and accurate information; and (8) although FinCEN was in the process of measuring its usefulness, it had not been in existence long enough to permit an accurate assessment.