|USA PATRIOT ACT MONITOR NEWS RELEASES|
USA PATRIOT Act Monitor News Release: Banco Popular $21.6 million forfeiture Banco Popular Pays $21.6 Million for Suspicious Activity Reporting Failures
Banco Popular de Puerto Rico will forfeit $21.6 million to the U.S. in a deferred prosecution agreement on charges of failing to report suspicious financial activity. Under the agreement, Banco Popular waived indictment, agreed to the filing of the information, and accepted and acknowledged responsibility for its behavior. The agreement settles all civil claims held by the government, which will also recommend that any criminal prosecution be deferred 12 months and dismissed with prejudice if the bank complies with its obligations. The charges against Banco Popular arose from transactions occurring between June 1995 and June 2000. One customer of the bank, Robert Ferrario Pozzi deposited approximately $20 million in cash into a Banco Popular account from June 1995 to March 1998, often having the cash delivered to the bank in paper bags and gym bags filled with small-denomination bills. Pozzi was indicted in December 1998 for money laundering and was sentenced to over eight years in prison. Despite the suspicious nature of Pozzi's activity, the bank filed some SARs only after learning that a joint U.S. Customs/IRS investigation had begun. The Department of Justice news release regarding Banco Popular can be found on the FinCEN website at www.fincen.gov/bancofinalpr1.pdf and the full Deferred Prosecution Agreement (33 pp.) is available at www.fincen.gov/bancopopular.pdf .
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