The Treasury Department admitted to Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Tim Scott that it gave banks a list of political terms to search in private bank transactions.
Acting Assistant Secretary Corey Tellez explained how the searches began after January 6, 2021:
FinCEN [Financial Crimes Enforcement Network] provided these typologies so that the participating banks could integrate this information into their AML/CFT programs to the extent they found it helpful. Banks consider a variety of factors and inputs as part of their AML/CFT [anti-money laundering] and efforts, including a bank’s existing knowledge of its customers and their histories and information about the nature and purpose of specific transactions. No one specific word or transaction code included in these typologies was designed to be used in isolation to “flag” or “target” any individuals. Rather, to the extent key words or phrases were suggested, it was expected they would be used alongside other factors and data that banks regularly analyze as part of their AML programs to detect and report suspicious activity. For example, a document distributed on January 15, 2021 suggested that banks could review payment messages for indications that an individual participated in the assault on the Capitol and included terms such as “antifa,” “MAGA,” “Trump,” “Biden,” “Kamala,” “Schumer,” and “Pelosi,” along with terms indicating an intent to do violence, such as “shoot,” “kill,” “murder” and “storm the Capitol.”
These people have a linguistic gift to word documents in a way that makes their actions honorable.
“I write regarding recent reporting that the U.S. Treasury Department (Treasury) through its Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) urged private financial institutions to surveil customers’ transaction-level data using politically charged search terms, in order to flag certain customer profiles on behalf of Federal law enforcement,” Scott wrote in the letter, obtained by Fox News Digital. “These allegations, if true, represent a flagrant violation of Americans’ privacy and the improper targeting of U.S. citizens for exercising their constitutional rights without due process.”
However, Scott was one of the senators who “voted for the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, which codified the FinCEN Exchange program to facilitate the sharing of data between law enforcement and financial institutions in an effort to combat crimes like money laundering and the financing of terrorism.”
The situation came to light when the House Judiciary Committee and Subcommittee on Weaponization obtained documents as part of an investigation.
The documents show the government also suggested keywords like Cabela’s Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Bass Pro shops.
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