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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Regulatory Investigations and Financial Crime Insights

FinCEN is poised to increase use of Section 311 and apply it in new ways

Recent remarks from Acting Director Himamauli Das of FinCEN, pending Congressional action to strengthen Section 311 of the Patriot Act, and the new Executive Order on digital assets indicate a possible new wave of actions.

Under Section 311 of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 ("USA PATRIOT ACT"), Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN") has a powerful tool to identify and thwart "primary money laundering concerns." In August 2019, FinCEN launched a new Global Investigations Divisions ("GID") to focus on utilizing its Section 311 authority to the maximum effect. FinCEN's Acting Director Himamauli Das noted in January FinCEN's desire to use the authority more, and shortly afterwards Congress is considering strengthening the authority. If you would like to learn more about this topic, please read our briefing on Looming Resurgence of FinCEN's Section 311 Authority.