A SAR Is Born

While I was in the money-laundering task force in Manhattan, we made it our mission to read every Bank Secrecy Act–related suspicious activity report (SAR) that was submitted by every financial institution in New York. We would routinely read approximately 4,000 SARs each month. Additionally, we developed and conducted regular SAR review meetings that had multiple ­federal, state, and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies in attendance.

Because of my position, I had the unique capacity to read, examine, and analyze SARs from every financial institution. It was interesting to see how the SARs transformed from pre-9/11 to post-9/11. In the early days after 9/11, many financial institutions were still reluctant to ...

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