New York Man Pleads Guilty to Violating Bank Secrecy Act in $1 Billion Scheme
A 56-year-old New York man, Gyanendra Asre, pleaded guilty recently to charges of failing to uphold an anti-money laundering program, a violation of the Bank Secrecy Act. As part of a complex scheme, Asre aimed to channel lucrative yet high-risk international financial business to a small and relatively unsophisticated credit union.
Court documents reveal that between 2014 and 2016, Asre served on the supervisory board of the New York State Employees Federal Credit Union (NYSEFCU), an institution obligated to maintain an anti-money laundering program. In collaboration with the NYSEFCU and other entities, Asre orchestrated a scheme that facilitated over $1 billion in high-risk transactions. These transactions included multimillion-dollar bulk cash transfers from a foreign bank into the NYSEFCU.
Crucially, Asre, a certified anti-money laundering specialist with expertise in international banking, had assured the NYSEFCU that he and his businesses would conduct the necessary anti-money laundering oversight mandated by the Bank Secrecy Act. Relying on these assurances, the NYSEFCU, a small credit union primarily serving New York state public employees, permitted Asre and his entities to engage in high-risk transactions. However, contrary to his promises, Asre deliberately failed to establish and maintain an anti-money laundering program at the NYSEFCU. This failure resulted in the processing of high-risk transactions without proper oversight and without filing any Suspicious Activity Reports, as required by law.
Asre is scheduled to be sentenced on May 3. The federal district court judge will determine the sentence, taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other relevant statutory factors. This case underscores the critical importance of maintaining robust anti-money laundering measures to safeguard the integrity of financial institutions and prevent illicit financial activities.
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