CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Federal prosecutors on Monday charged a Mingo County bank with failing to establish an effective anti-money laundering program, but asked that a judge accept a deal that could result in the charge eventually being dismissed.
If the Bank of Mingo had an anti-money laundering program in place, prosecutors said, customers would have been prevented from “structuring” — evading federal laws that banks must report all cash transactions in excess of $10,000, the charge states.
The bank has agreed to pay $2.2 million — the amount, prosecutors say, that was illegally structured at the bank — as well as cooperate with prosecutors and take remedial action during the next 12 months. If a judge approves the agreement, which would defer prosecution for a year, prosecutors will dismiss the charge.
The bank was charged in the form of an information, which typically means a defendant is cooperating with prosecutors and plans to plead guilty. The bank has already agreed to the deal, which was signed by the bank’s corporate officer, Randall T. Brumfield, and its attorney, Gerard Stowers on May 31.
Not having the anti-money laundering program in place is a violation of the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires financial institutions to develop and maintain programs for the detection and reporting of suspicious activity that might be a warning sign of money laundering.
“These are not just simply technical violations,” U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said in a news release. “Illegal structuring enables and helps to conceal larger criminal schemes. Had [the] Bank of Mingo maintained an effective anti-money laundering program, other criminal activity might have been nipped in the bud…