Cautionary tales: A roundup of DOJ cases

Department of Justice

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!

Speaking of laboring, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has been working hard on a number of criminal cases over the past few months. Today’s blog will examine a few cases that may have some significance for credit union compliance:

Man Pleads Guilty to Lying to Bank about MRB: Providing financial services to marijuana-related business (MRBs) can be complicated from a compliance perspective. Marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance and its cultivation, sale, and possession is illegal under federal law, even as a growing number of states legalize or decriminalize marijuana at the state level. Proceeds from MRBs could be viewed as proceeds of criminal activity at the federal level and could be subject to seizure as part of law enforcement operations. Credit unions and other financial institutions that wish to provide services to MRBs are required to follow FinCEN guidance on the topic, which requires the filing of Suspicious Activity Reports, among other things. As we blogged about a few months ago, the NCUA has taken action against one federal credit union, apparently for deficiencies with its MRB compliance. For these reasons, many financial institutions have chosen not to provide any banking services to MRBs.

 

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