Money Laundering:

Civil Penalty Referrals for Violations of the Bank Secrecy Act Have Declined

T-GGD-92-57: Published: Jun 30, 1992. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 1992.

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GAO discussed the Department of the Treasury's Office of Financial Enforcement (OFE) processing of civil penalty referrals for Bank Secrecy Act violations. GAO noted that: (1) OFE has not timely processed civil penalty referrals, and many referrals awaiting resolution had periods of inactivity ranging from several months to over a year; (2) OFE assessed penalties in about 11 percent of the cases it has closed since 1985, sent letters of warning to 55 percent of cases, and closed 34 percent of cases without making any contact; (3) many referral cases closed without penalty assessment because the statue of limitations expired while OFE was processing the case; and (4) OFE recognized that lengthy processing times were a problem and took steps to correct the situation by acquiring additional staff and improving its case tracking system.

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