TD Bank fined $37.5 million under BSA
Sept. 24, 2013 – TD Bank, based in Toronto, was assessed a $37.5 million civil money penalty for failing to file suspicious activity reports related to Scott Rothstein’s Ponzi scheme, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network announced Monday.
The bank has also been fined $15 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for related securities violations; SEC on Monday filed charges against the bank and its former regional vice president, Frank Spinosa.
From April 2008 through September 2009, TD Bank “willfully violated the Bank Secrecy Act’s reporting requirements by failing to detect and adequately report suspicious activities in a timely manner,” FinCEN reported. Five SARs covering a total of $900 million in suspicious activity during the period were finally filed in 2011 following the bank’s review of Rothstein’s transactions.
“A lack of adequate training for both the anti-money laundering and business staff contributed to the failure to recognize the suspicious activity,” FinCEN said.
Rothstein pled guilty in January 2010 to a racketeering conspiracy in federal district court in Florida and was sentenced to 50 years in prison five months later. FinCEN said thousands of transactions flowed through his multiple law firm accounts at TD Bank that included transactions related to his Ponzi scheme. It said TD Bank’s anti-money laundering surveillance software for suspicious activity picked up this activity, but bank employees failed to recognize the suspicious activity and file SARs in a timely manner.