Four of The Biggest Fines in History for BSA/AML Non-Compliance

Money laundering is a prevalent problem in the United States. Today, new technologies can help fraud teams prevent money laundering activities by deep-screening and monitoring accounts and transactions for potential risks, as well as assuring compliance in an everchanging landscape.

Unfortunately, the following institutions did not do enough… and they’ve paid dearly.

In a moment, we’ll disclose them and show a real-time solution they could have employed to potentially avoid ending up on this list in the first place.

But first, what is BSA/AML?

As a financial institution fraud team member, you already know the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) was passed in Congress in 1970 to combat money laundering. The BSA/AML required financial institutions to operate with government outfits to safeguard institutions, clients, country, and communities from financial crimes.

Banks and other financial institutions must adhere to the five pillars of BSA/AML and report irregular activities that suggest money laundering or other crimes.

The following institutions received massive fines for non-compliance:

Goldman Sachs (USA, Malaysia) – 1MDB Scandal

In 2020, Goldman Sachs was indicted with gross misuse of consumer funds, bribery, and money laundering through the 1MBD Scandal that cost them about $3.9 billion in fines. The 1MBD Scandal is known as one of the world’s biggest money laundering scandals in history.

SEB (Sweden) – Nordic banks scandal

This scandal involved illegal cash flows coming from Russia and Eastern Europe directed through banks in the Baltic states. The assessed value for these transactions is around $200 billion.

In 2020, SEB (Sweden) was fined 1 billion crowns for allowing money laundering acts worth at least $6 billion.

Westpac Scandal

Westpac breached the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act and was charged with a $1.3 billion fine. Westpac was connected to various multinational organizations’ money laundering schemes as well as other criminal activities, including extensive child exploitation activities based in Southeast Asia and Mexico.


In 2021, Helix, a crypto-centric organization run by Larry Harmon, was fined a total of $60 million for violating the BSA. Aside from fines, Harmon is also facing 20 years imprisonment. Helix allegedly consorted with darknet marketplaces to deliver money laundering services for criminal enterprises. The prosecution of Helix has been one of the most extensive efforts to fight money laundering activities in new financial platforms like crypto.

These are just some of the latest notable cases with huge BSA/AML non-compliance fines.

However, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of other cases of BSA/AML non-compliance, and billions more in fines.

Worse, it’s expected that BSA/AML fines could drastically increase in the coming years. If institutions do not do enough to both comply with regulations and fight money laundering, we could see many of them fined into bankruptcy…

Even if they thought they were compliant and operating a clean business.

The Preferred Solution for BSA/AML Compliance

ToolCASE is the industry preferred, real-time Ai solution to help your institution’s fraud team maintain BSA/AML compliance, as well as detect and prevent all types of financial crimes… live.

Money laundering happens in real-time… ToolCASE helps identify it, in real-time.

To assure your institution never makes the list of BSA/AML non-compliance firms, and avoids the bankruptcy court, request a demonstration of the ToolCASE BSA/AML solutions, HERE

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