DiscoverSuspicious Activity: Inside the FinCEN Files
Suspicious Activity: Inside the FinCEN Files
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Suspicious Activity: Inside the FinCEN Files

Author: Pineapple Street Studios, BuzzFeed News

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Pineapple Street Studios and BuzzFeed News bring you this five-part series investigating how the most powerful banks in the world can facilitate the worst of humanity – terrorism, human trafficking, the drug trade – all in plain sight of the government.

6 Episodes
Throughout this reporting project, Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier wanted to talk to someone who was the subject of a suspicious activity report to ask, “Why did the bank flag you?” Only one person was willing to talk: real estate developer and former associate of President Trump, Felix Sater. And Senator Ron Wyden and a former DOJ prosecutor tell us what they think needs to be done to stem the flow of dirty money in our banking system. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Two former employees of Standard Chartered say they were ignored and eventually fired when they reported accounts at the bank that looked fishy to them – accounts they suspected were violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. But as BuzzFeed News reporter Richard Holmes explains, there was someone else who thought many of the accounts were suspect enough to report to FinCEN: the bank itself.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Even in the finance world, Deutsche Bank has a troubled reputation. One of its darkest and most mysterious chapters happened when it facilitated the laundering of $10 billion dollars for anonymous shell companies around the world. But BuzzFeed News reporter Tom Warren has now discovered whose money the bank moved and how far up knowledge of the problem went. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
HSBC was the poster child of a bad bank. In 2012 the bank was slapped with a 1.9 billion dollar fine and told it needed to clean up its act, or face prosecution. Digging into the FinCEN Files, BuzzFeed News reporters Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold found out what really happened with the bank. Plus, how over 400 reporters around the world are collaborating on this massive reporting project. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
A trove of secret documents received by BuzzFeed News reveals how banks profit off terror and organized crime — and the ways that governments fail to stop it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
We can’t tell you much yet. Sorry! But we can tell you that it’s big. Possibly the biggest reporting project ever. And that it’s coming on Sept. 20. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Comments (3)


Also be aware, that people in the banking industry are paid on the side to have SAR reports fraudulently made or made to disappear. Employees making these SAR reports are making maybe 15 bucks an hour.

Oct 18th


I retired from law enforcement in 2018 after 26 yrs of service. I worked for a large agency in the DFW area. Your podcast is spot on. I retired because the top chain was all about what case made them money. I retired out of a human trafficking unit. Unit was shut down, because HT cases are long and cost the city money. I eventually gave up because of the threats of being sent back to patrol and insubordination. I honorably retired & walked away. I left a stack of cases on my desk, which I found out later, were thrown in the trash. Politics has invaded law enforcement. It’s dirty. Stats are manipulated and pushed out to the public. Very misleading. I tried many times to get the top brass to get someone in the agency to get federal credentials to be able to pull reports. I had to get mine from HSI or another agency. Dirty money seems to flow in the city. Why get so hostile for requesting a person be able to pull Fencin reports.

Oct 18th

Jayarava Attwood

This is both shocking and also not. that the banks are corrupt is no surprise at this point. it is the scale of the corruption that is striking. and the govt complacency.

Oct 7th
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