Regulators: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network FinCEN overview

Regulators:  Financial Crimes Enforcement Network FinCEN overview


 Prerequisite:   Before you complain to regulators

Country: United States of America
Country Common Nicknames: United States, USA, US
Big Bad Regulator, Long Name: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
BBR, Short name: FinCEN
Type: Government, under US Dept of Treasury
Main website homepage:
Regulatory licenses issued:

[Yes,  database listing  of Money Services Business MSBs]

Complaints: No
Do they do alerts? Yes, occasionally several times a monthTwitter
Do they ever eject a registered company? Yes, database is updated weekly
Do they ever fine a registered company? Yes.  A couple of times a year.  show regular 6-8+ figure civil penalties.
Do they ever directly or indirectly file criminal charges? Yes.
Do they ever mandate repayments to clients? No.  
Contact info see below [keep reading until end]

As a sub-division of the U.S. Treasury department, FinCEN helps to regulate pretty much any financial institution that has the potential to launder national currency money or finance terrorism.  This includes banks, casinos, broker-dealers, and money transmitters.

Specifically FinCEN creates and monitors frameworks of how money is transmitted and then relays that information to other governmental agencies or law enforcement.    This is known as financial intelligence and FinCEN along with other country’s equivalent organizations are known as Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs).  And a big part of FinCEN’s policing work extends to the international community, since the US dollar is used as a de-facto world reserve currency.

One of the main reasons I thought the FinCEN was a regulator worth mentioning is the rise of virtual currencies…usually cryptocurrencies.   Well crypto exchangers operating in the USA are required to register as a Money Services Business (MSB).  And FinCEN keeps a database of MSBs which can be checked.   Now the standard disclaimer that the listing in the database is not a FinCEN/Treasury dept endorsement of that business.  But at least you can see if a crypto exchange is abiding by some basic BSA laws by staying registered.  There is an option to download an excel xls version of the complete database.   This might be preferred….and then you do the search using the “find” tool via Excel.

  • The glossary was an interesting hidden gem that I came across.  It’s kind of like a summary of recent advisories and an attempt to define frequently used concepts combined.   Yeah, it’s more poorly organized than it sounds.   But some gems are there that provide insight into different financial transaction related fraud issues and FinCEN recommendations.    For example, they had a guide on “Bet on Currency” in regards to cash wagers at a casino.  These guys use acronyms so often, they have a page dedicated to keeping up with them.   I wonder if the US military has their own dedicated list somewhere.  

Another point of interest is the liaison work that is done to facilitate other financial regulators worldwide.   The equivalent gov’t organizations in other countries that work to investigate money transfer-related crimes (referred to as Financial Intelligence Units – FIUs) collaborate and or share information with each other via an organization known as the Egmond Group .  According to their official website, Egmond provides the technology and other tools for FIUs to share information securely to perform AML and anti-terrorism financing.   Without going into extensive detail, it seems like a round-about way of saying that big brothers around the world collaborate to ensure that the financial system “remains safe” from boogeyman money launderers.  Hmmm yet didn’t HSBC get caught laundering on several occasions with amounts >$100 Million USD?  And all that fine money that they pay….where does it ultimately come from?



Remember to study the  Before you complain to regulators  guide before reaching out. 
Contact emails
Contact form
Contact list: ^^  ^^
Additional contacts Read below
  [Main headquarters] Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
U.S. Department of the Treasury
2070 Chain Bridge Road
Vienna, VA 22182
FAX: (703) 905-3885 (will update with more #s)
Regulatory  hotline 1-800-767-2825 toll free or
FinCEN law authority Summary | 31 U.S.C. 310  makes FinCEN a US Treasury bureau | Treasury Order 180-01  |  Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act of 1970 or “Bank Secrecy Act” BSA |  
Complaints No formal complaints, general scam alerts:  Treasury OIG |    
Investor resources Homepage | MSB registrant search [how-to pdf; local copy] | State MSB regulator [local copy]|  glossary homepage | Egmond Group International FIUs  |  Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) stats  (webinar overview pdf )
Key pamphlets  Currency Transaction Reporting Educational Pamphlet  [local copy] (Spanish)  [local copy] |  Elder Financial Exploitation [local copy]  

Author Profile



4EverMaAT started trading derivatives since he was 18 years old, and found his way into forex over a decade ago and started developing automated trading systems to assist his leap into professional trading. This includes creating the worlds first (and only?) true coincident trend indicator: APAMI (Awesome/Amazing Price Action Measurement Indicator). No lag, no averaging. Just complex, measured price action made simple. Find out more at

MaAT is an ancient Kemetic phrase that translates to "Truth, reciprocity, balance". Obviously when a company or trader tries to scam their client/business partner out of money, this upsets the natural balance that exists when contracts are formed and traded. But the best way forward is not to be a helpless victim, but to ensure that you are informed with whom you are trading with. And more importantly, whom you are trusting your hard earned dollars with.

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