News Column

Federal Charges Against Ocean Bank Dismissed

August 23, 2013

Ocean Bank said Thursday that the U.S. Department of Justice has dismissed the charges against the Miami bank stemming from a deferred prosecution agreement, bringing an end to the 2011 case regarding the bank's Bank Secrecy Act program.

"We have worked diligently for several years to address all the issues that led to the agreement and to ensure that all of our systems and procedures dealing with anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act regulations are in full compliance with the spirit and the letter of all federal and state regulations," said Ocean Bank President and Chief Executive A. Alfonso Macedo, in a statement.

Two years ago, Ocean Bank agreed to pay nearly $11 million to the federal government in a deferred prosecution agreement, to resolve charges that it willfully failed to establish an anti-money laundering program from 2001 through June 2008. The agreement followed a lengthy, multi-agency investigation, dubbed "Operation Dirty Dinero," that delved into Ocean Bank's handling of several of its customers' accounts, including transactions with Mexican currency exchange houses, or "casas de cambio."

In addition to charges that the bank failed to set up an anti-money laundering program, the U.S. Attorney's Office said at the time that Ocean Bank failed to monitor potential money-laundering activity in five accounts allegedly used to launder narcotics money.

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Source: Copyright Miami Herald (FL) 2013