UPDATE: Adds details from a U.S. Treasury Department e-mail and expands biographical information. James H. Freis, the director of the U.S. financial intelligence unit, was dismissed Thursday, ending a 5-year tenure that oversaw the drafting of the toughest anti-money laundering regulations since the passage of the U.S. Patriot Act. Freis, who told his staff Thursday morning that he was leaving the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), was asked to step down by Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen, multiple sources familiar with the bureau told MoneyLaundering.com. When he refused, Cohen dismissed Freis, informing the bureau's 300-plus employees...
The nation's financial intelligence unit will relocate dozens of employees from its current Virginia headquarters to Washington, D.C. as part of an effort to better integrate with other U.S. Treasury Department offices.
The U.S. Treasury Department is considering hiring the country's top money laundering and asset forfeiture prosecutor to head the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, say sources with knowledge of departmental discussions.
The next head of the nation's financial intelligence unit will face pressure to revamp its rule-writing process, complete a database overhaul and improve the bureau's rapport with financial institutions, sources say.
As an intermediary between Bank Secrecy Act departments that feel burdened by regulations and law enforcement investigators who welcome more reporting, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network often finds itself in a "difficult position," according to Director James Freis, Jr.