August 28, 2015

Law360 interviews Ed Wilson on money laundering transparency ruling

1 min

Venable partner Ed Wilson was interviewed in an August 28, 2015 Law360 article on a federal judge's ruling that FBME Bank was entitled to more information on how the government determined they were a threat to the country’s financial system. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) designated the bank a "primary money laundering concern" and passed a rule cutting it off any transaction with a U.S. financial institution. The judge said FinCEN violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and withheld public information about how it reached its decision.

"This is just a classic APA case and with a judge who has enough confidence to say, 'I'm not going to be overrun by the claims of national security," said Wilson. "The judge is performing an important judicial function in saying that the executive branch may be at the height of its power, but it has got to exercise its authority correctly."

All U.S. banks have cut off relationships with FBME meaning the bank is unlikely to see much of a benefit if it wins its case. However, the ruling could force FinCEN to provide more information to the public about its decisions going forward. "It lays out good tracks for the next 311 final rule that FinCEN puts out," added Wilson.