FinCEN announced on May 3, 2018 that Artichoke Joe’s, a card club and casino located in San Bruno, California and founded in 1916, has entered into a revised civil money penalty assessment regarding alleged deficiencies under the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”). The most interesting aspect of this revised assessment is that it allows the casino to reduce its original $8 million penalty by $3 million if it successfully completes certain compliance undertakings.
No press release has been issued to date by FinCEN regarding this revised assessment, so its specific genesis is unclear. Nonetheless, the revised assessment illustrates that financial institutions facing Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”)/BSA enforcement actions might be able to mitigate the financial consequences — not only when negotiating the initial penalty assessment, but even after it has been imposed — by undertaking steps towards enhanced compliance and monitoring. It is also unclear whether the onerous nature of the original assessment, when compared to the available financial resources of the assessed institution, may have played a role in the revision.