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handFinancial Database Records

by

Alan R. Graham
Senior Investigative Auditor
U.S. Treasury Department
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN): provides multiple source of databases from different credit bureaus for both businesses and individuals. It will provide credit card companies and numbers along with other pertinent financial data. You must contact your appointed State representative in order to process your request.

[interFIRE VR note: the following FinCEN information is from FinCEN literature]

What are FinCEN's information sources? FinCEN's information sources fall into three broad categories: Financial, Law Enforcement and Commercial Databases.

Financial Database: The financial database consists of reports that are required to be filed under the BSA and include the Currency Transaction Report (CTR); Report of the International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments (CMIR); Currency Transaction Report by Casinos (CTRC); Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR); and Suspicious Activity Report (SAR).

Law Enforcement Databases: Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), a written agreement outlining the details of database access, dissemination authority, etc., FinCEN is able to access individual law enforcement databases maintained by agencies such as the Treasury Bureaus, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Defense, and the Postal Inspection Service. FinCEN currently maintains MOUs with a wide range of federal and regulatory agencies, all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Commercial Databases: FinCEN procures access to a variety of commercially maintained databases which are valuable in loating individuals, determining asset ownership and establishing links between individuals, busineses and assets. These commercial sources of information, coupled with the data from the law enforcement and financial databases, form the foundation of informatin sources for FinCEN analysis.

FinCEN produces tacktcal support products and strategic analysis. Procedures for accessing FinCEN vary among federal agencies. Federal agency personnel may wish to first contact their Headquarters component to determine whether or not a procedure for submission of FinCEN requests ahs been established by their agency. State and local agencies need to submit their requests through their designated FinCEN State Coordinator. To determine your State Coordinator, please contanct FinCEN's Gateway Project Office at 1800-SOS-BUCK.

Credit Bureaus: sources such as TRW, etc., summarize financial information for both businesses and individuals in a useful format for the investigative team. These credit reports provide leads such as outstanding mortgages, credit card information (type of card, account number, outstanding balance and payment history), bank account data, etc. In addition, any other inquiries appear as "hits" on these reports and indicate other sources of banks, etc. that are also inquiring into credit data.

Internet: This is another possible investigative tool that may provide valuable information and data to the investigative team. The term "searching the web" allows the team to research numerous web sites for information that may impact the investigation. One pertinent web site is FINCEN at http://www.ustreas.gov/treasury/bureau/fincen

Utility Records

Billings Statements: are monthly statements which provide basic data as to quantitative usage and applicable dollar value. Monthly usage aspects may be in the form of gas thermal units, kilowatt-hours, etc., that may be used for comparative purposes.

reprinted by permission

 
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