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Former MoneyGram compliance officer pays $250K for AML failures

Jaclyn Jaeger | May 8, 2017

The former chief compliance officer for MoneyGram International has agreed to a three-year injunction barring him from performing a compliance function for any money transmitter and has agreed to pay a $250,000 penalty for anti-money laundering failures.

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced the settlement on May 4.

As part of the settlement, Thomas Haider, former chief compliance officer for MoneyGram International, has admitted, acknowledged, and accepted responsibility for the following, among other things:  

  • Failing to terminate specific MoneyGram outlets after being presented with information that strongly indicated that the outlets were complicit in consumer fraud schemes;
  • Failing to implement a policy for terminating outlets that posed a high risk of fraud; and
  • Structuring MoneyGram’s anti-money laundering (AML) program such that information that MoneyGram’s fraud department had aggregated about outlets—including the number of reports of consumer fraud that some outlets had accumulated over specific time periods—was not generally provided to the MoneyGram analysts who were responsible for filing suspicious activity reports with FinCEN. 

In December 2014, FinCEN issued a $1 million civil penalty against Haider for failing to ensure that his company abided by the AML provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York then filed a complaint in U.S. District Court that sought to enforce the penalty and to enjoin Haider from employment in the financial industry. This settlement concludes those actions and was approved by U.S. District Judge David Doty of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.

“FinCEN relies on compliance professionals from every corner of the financial industry,” said Acting FinCEN Director Jamal El-Hindi. “FinCEN and our law enforcement partners need their judgment and their skills to effectively fight money laundering, fraud, and terrorist financing.”

“Here, despite being presented with various ways to address clearly illicit use of the financial institution, the individual failed to take required actions designed to guard the very system he was charged with protecting, undermining the purposes of the BSA,” El-Hindi continued. “Holding [Haider] personally accountable strengthens the compliance profession by demonstrating that behavior like this is not tolerated within the ranks of compliance professionals.”