FinCEN Announces $8 Million Civil Money Penalty against CommunityBank of Texas, National Association for Violations of the Bank Secrecy Act


Office of Strategic Communications,

Immediate Release

December 16, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today announced that it has assessed an $8 million civil penalty on Community Bank of Texas, N.A. (CBOT) for willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its implementing regulations.

Specifically, CBOT admitted that it willfully failed to implement and maintain an effective anti-money laundering (AML) program that was reasonably designed to guard against money laundering (emphasis by Zaher Fallahi) . CBOT also admitted that it willfully failed to report hundreds of suspicious transactions to FinCEN involving illegal financial activity by its customers and processed by, at, or through the bank even after the bank became aware that certain customers were subjects of criminal investigations. The violations occurred from at least 2015 through 2019 and caused millions of dollars in suspicious transactions to go unreported to FinCEN in a timely and accurate manner, including transactions connected to tax evasion, illegal gambling, money laundering, and other financial crimes.

“Community Bank of Texas willfully disregarded its lawful obligations to implement and maintain an effective AML program and to identify and report suspicious transactions to FinCEN,” said FinCEN’s Acting Director Himamauli Das. “The failures of Community Bank of Texas enabled criminal activity by depriving regulators and law enforcement of critical financial intelligence. Today’s action should serve as a reminder to banks of all sizes that FinCEN and our regulatory partners will work closely together to ensure that banks comply with the Bank Secrecy Act and its implementing regulations in order to combat money laundering and promote national security.”

As a result of its own investigation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) assessed a civil penalty of $1 million for related violations. As many of the facts and circumstances underlying the OCC’s civil penalty also form the basis of FinCEN’s Consent Order, FinCEN agreed to credit the $1 million civil penalty imposed by the OCC. Taken together, CBOT will pay a total of $8 million to the U.S. Treasury as a penalty for its violations, with $7 million representing FinCEN’s penalty and $1 million representing the OCC’s penalty.

FinCEN notes its appreciation for the close collaboration and invaluable assistance provided by the OCC, the Dallas Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations Houston, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Beaumont Resident Agency.

End of FinCEN announcement

Zaher Fallahi, Crypto Tax and BSA/AML Attorney/CPA

Zaher Fallahi, cryptocurrency tax and BSA/AML, CPA, advises crypto owners with crypto tax, crypto FBARs, crypto FATCAs, crypto offshore accounts, crypto foreign gifts, and BSA/AML. Nationwide virtual appointments are available @ toll free 1-(877) 687-7558.