Banker Pleads Guilty to Bank Secrecy Act Charges
A New York man pleaded guilty today in the Eastern District of New York to failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act as part of a scheme to bring lucrative and high-risk international financial business to a small, unsophisticated credit union.
According to court documents, from 2014 to 2016, Hanan Ofer, 69, of New York City, operated the New York State Employees Federal Credit Union Service Organization (NYSEFCU-CUSO), a money services business that was required to have an effective anti-money laundering program. Through the NYSEFCU-CUSO and other entities, Ofer participated in a scheme that brought more than $1 billion in high-risk transactions, including millions of dollars of bulk cash transactions from a Mexican bank, to the New York State Employees Federal Credit Union (NYSEFCU).
Ofer was experienced in international banking and trained in anti-money laundering compliance and procedures, and represented to the NYSEFCU that he and his businesses would conduct appropriate anti-money laundering oversight as required by the Bank Secrecy Act. Instead, Ofer willfully failed to implement an effective anti-money laundering program at the NYSEFCU-CUSO. This failure caused the NYSEFCU to process the high-risk transactions without appropriate oversight and without ever filing a single Suspicious Activity Report, as required by law.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Ricky J. Patel of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York made the announcement.
HSI New York investigated the case.
Trial Attorneys Margaret Moeser and Leigh Kessler of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan C. Harris and Francisco J. Navarro for the Eastern District of New York are prosecuting the case.
MLARS’s Bank Integrity Unit investigates and prosecutes banks and other financial institutions, including their officers, managers, and employees, whose actions threaten the integrity of the individual institution or the wider financial system.