Ocean, the largest state chartered bank in Florida, is privately owned and headquartered in Miami. With twenty-one branches located throughout southern Florida, Ocean provides a wide range of financial services to consumers, small businesses and middle-market companies.
An investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and FinCEN, working in conjunction with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, and parallel examinations conducted by the FDIC and the FOFR, determined that from 2005 to 2010, Ocean violated the anti-money laundering (“AML”) program requirements, suspicious activity reporting requirements, and currency transaction reporting requirements of the BSA.In July of 2007, the Bank consented to the issuance of a Cease and Desist Order issued by the FDIC relative to non-compliance with the BSA.
The AML program at Ocean was deficient in three of the four core elements required by 31 U.S.C. § 5318(h)(1) and 31 C.F.R. § 103.120 (31 C.F.R. § 1020.210). Namely, the Bank failed to:
- establish and implement effective internal controls;
- designate personnel to ensure day-to-day compliance;
- implement an effective independent audit function to test programs with respectto the BSA, particularly the suspicious activity reporting requirements.
Ocean failed to implement an effective AML program reasonably designed to identify and report transactions that exhibited indicia of money laundering or other suspicious activity, considering the types of products and services offered by the Bank, the volume and scope of its business, and the nature of its customers. Ocean failed to implement a program commensurate with the risks inherent within its business lines and geographical reach. As a result, Ocean failed
to timely file suspicious activity reports, thus greatly diminishing the value of the reports to both law enforcement and regulatory agencies
Detailed order link from FinCEN: here