WASHINGTON (CN) – FinCEN, the Treasury Department’s lead agency linking law enforcement to financial industry regulators, has proposed an expansive new construction of its regulations prohibiting the disclosure of investigations or potential investigations of “suspected activity reports” or SARS.
SARS are filed when someone in the financial sector spots financial activity that is unusual or suspect. The reports are considered confidential, and information about them may not be disclosed by anyone to anyone.
FinCEN argues that the non-disclosure prohibition means that not even government agencies may disclose a SAR to another government agency or branch of government, even if subpoenaed to do so. Also, FinCEN wants subpoenaed individuals or institutions to refuse to disclose knowledge of the existence of a SAR and to notify FinCEN immediately.
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