Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)

Proposed Collection; Comment Request

62 FR 44032

DATE: Monday, August 18, 1997
ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: In order to comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 concerning new information collection requirements, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN") is soliciting comments concerning a proposed new Treasury Form TD F 90-22.49, Suspicious Activity Report by Casinos ("SARC"), which will be used by Nevada casinos, effective October 1, 1997, to file with FinCEN reports of potentially suspicious transactions and activities that may occur by, at, or through a Nevada casino.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before October 17, 1997.

ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Office of Program Development, Attn.: SARC Comments, P.O. Box 39, Vienna, VA 22183. Comments may also be submitted by Internet e-mail to RegComments@fincen.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or for a copy of the draft form should be directed to Leonard Senia, Senior Financial Enforcement Officer, Office of Program Development, (703) 905-3931, or by inquiry to the Internet e-mail address shown above. A copy of the draft SARC form can be obtained through the Internet at https://www.fincen.gov. Once the SARC form is issued as a final form, a copy of it, as well as all forms required by the Bank Secrecy Act, can be obtained through the Internet at http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/prod/forms-pubs/forms.html.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act (commonly known as the Bank Secrecy Act) Titles I and II of Pub. L. 91-508, as amended, codified at 12 U.S.C. 1829b, 12 U.S.C. 1951-1959, and 31 U.S.C. 5311-5314, 5316-5326, 5328-5330, specifically authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, inter alia, to issue regulations that require domestic financial institutions to report suspicious transactions. See 31 U.S.C. 5318(g). The authority of the Secretary to administer the Bank Secrecy Act ("BSA") regulations has been delegated to the Director of FinCEN.

The BSA defines financial institutions to include casinos. See 31 U.S.C. 5312(a)(2)(X) and 31 CFR 103.11(n)(7)(i). Nevada Gaming Commission Regulation 6A, Section 100, requires Nevada casinos to report suspicious transactions to FinCEN as part of its continuing responsibilities pursuant to a May 1985 cooperative agreement between the State of Nevada and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. That agreement obligates Nevada to implement a state casino regulatory system which substantially meets federal regulatory requirements designed to address money laundering and other financial crimes which may occur at casinos.

FinCEN is proposing a new information collection requirement pertaining to the reporting of suspicious transactions to permit a federal form to be used to satisfy Nevada Regulation 6A. Under the new requirement, contained in Section 100 of that Regulation, which will become effective on October 1, 1997, Nevada casinos must file their reports of suspicious transactions with FinCEN, using the SARC form, and its accompanying instructions.

The information collection requirement contained in this notice supports one of the purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act ("PRA") of 1995 which is to "strengthen the partnership between the Federal Government and State, local, and tribal governments by minimizing the burden and maximizing the utility of information created, collected, maintained, used, disseminated, and retained by or for the Federal Government" (see 44 U.S.C. 3501(6)). This goal is accomplished, in part, through the creation of a single reporting form for suspicious casino transactions and activities-Treasury Form TD F 90-22.49 (SARC).

As previously mentioned, Nevada casino licensees must use the SARC in satisfying the new suspicious activity reporting requirement contained in Nevada State Regulation 6A, Section 100. FinCEN intends to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking, sometime in 1997, that would require non-Nevada casinos or card clubs subject to the requirements of the BSA and its implementing regulations to report suspicious activity. Until such a rule is published as a final rule in the Federal Register and takes effect, casinos and card clubs in jurisdictions other than Nevada are encouraged to file the SARC form to report suspicious activity. Once FinCEN has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on suspicious transaction reporting by casinos, it will prepare a subsequent PRA notice to permit persons in other jurisdictions to comment on a SARC. FinCEN anticipates the form will be modified slightly to accommodate the nationwide extension of suspicious activity reporting to casinos and card clubs.

Reports filed by Nevada casinos and any reports filed voluntarily by other casinos and card clubs will be fully subject to the protection from liability contained in 31 U.S.C. 5318(g)(3) and the provision contained in 31 U.S.C. 5318(g)(2) which prohibits notification of any person involved in the transaction that a suspicious activity report has been filed.

Information collected on the SARC will be made available, in accordance with strict safeguards, to appropriate criminal law enforcement and regulatory personnel for use in the official performance of their duties. The information collected is used for regulatory purposes and in investigations and proceedings involving international and domestic money laundering, tax violations, fraud, and other financial crimes.

FinCEN has requested that a different OMB Control Number be assigned for this collection requirement than the OMB Control Number assigned for Treasury Form TD F 90-22.47, Suspicious Activity Report, which is applicable to banks and other depository institutions. This will facilitate FinCEN's oversight over its BSA information collection requirements by obtaining a unique OMB Control Number for each specific form.

In accordance with requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR part 1320, the following information concerning the collection of information on Treasury Form TD F 90-22.49, is presented to assist those persons wishing to comment on the information collection.

Title: Suspicious Activity Report by Casinos ("SARC").

Form Number: Treasury Form TD F 90-22.49.

OMB Number: To be assigned.

Description of Respondents: Initially, all Nevada casinos, with gross annual gaming revenue in excess of $ 10 million and having an annual table games statistical win in excess of $ 2 million.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 94.

Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 1,700.

Frequency: As required.

Estimate of Burden: Reporting average of 31 minutes per response; recordkeeping average of 5 minutes per response. No regulatory burden is imposed by federal regulation in this case because state regulation imposes the regulatory burden.

Estimate of Total Annual Burden on Respondents: Reporting burden estimate = 878 hours; recordkeeping burden estimate = 142 hours. Estimated combined total of 1,020 hours.

Estimate of Total Annual Cost to Respondents for Hour Burdens: Based on $ 20 per hour, the total cost to the public is estimated to be $ 20,400.

Estimate of Total Other Annual Costs to Respondents: None.

Type of Request: New information collection.

Request for Comments

FinCEN specifically invites comments on the following subjects: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the mission of FinCEN, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of FinCEN's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

In addition, the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 requires agencies to estimate the total annual cost burden to respondents or recordkeepers resulting from the collection of information. Thus, FinCEN also specifically requests comments to assist with this estimate. In this connection, FinCEN requests commenters to identify any additional costs associated with the completion of the form. These comments on costs should be divided into two parts: (1) Any additional costs associated with reporting; and (2) any additional costs associated with recordkeeping.

Responses to the questions posed by this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will become a matter of public record.

Dated: August 12, 1997.

Stanley E. Morris,

Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

[FR Doc. 97-21815 Filed 8-15-97; 8:45 am]