NetImpact POV

Helping FinCEN Support the Analysis and Research for Criminal Activity and Fraud

May 15, 2020

For the United States to fight crime and terrorism, investigators must understand the relationship between the movement of money and the lifeline of criminal acts to help connect the dots. The Financial Crime Enforcements Network (FinCEN)—a bureau of the United States Department of Treasury—collects and analyzes information about financial transactions to combat domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes.

In 2019, NetImpact began our work with FinCEN to support its Technology Division under the Enterprise Mission Application Development and Support (eMADs). This critical division manages FinCEN data to help fight financial crime and terrorism worldwide by managing millions of records of financial data to support the analysis and research of criminal activity and fraud. More than 50 NetImpact employees and sub-contractors were brought in to help the modernize the bureau’s systems and retool its existing applications to make them “cloud ready” while also ensuring compliance with Federal Information Security Act (FISMA) standards.

NetImpact’s critical work includes:

  • Improving eMADs application operations and maintenance by debugging and repairing nearly 150 bugs and defects to enhance the user experience.
  • Refining the FinCEN Portal and Query system—a system of record that uses raw and normalized data for financial crime research and hosts more than 30,000 queries a day with over 12,000 daily users. NetImpact is currently re-ingesting and re-indexing more than 400 million records while modernizing the access management and internal search engine, aggregating data from banks countrywide under the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970.
  • Updating the Financial Intelligence Repository that allows FinCEN analysts to connect fragmented data into manageable information for law enforcement agencies. This system creates commonalities in data and converts it to a case management system.
  • Improving the efficiency of software development and delivery by leveraging technology stacks such as Hadoop, Elasticsearch, DevOps, and PostgreSQL, which also allows capabilities to be available to the stakeholder community continuously.

Today, there are nearly 3,000 active cryptocurrencies in the world with the top ten cryptocurrencies accounting for more than $200 billion in market capitalization. Now more than ever it is essential for law enforcement to be able to easily follow and track criminal money movement before it moves to a deregulated cryptocurrency. Once that occurs, funds can be laundered with a nearly untraceable footprint. The sooner an investigative analyst or law enforcement officer can trace funds, the faster they can act to prevent those funds from exchange to a cryptocurrency. Using numerous agile methodologies, NetImpact is helping law enforcement, regulators and analysts to efficiently research and build cases to fight fraud and take down criminal enterprises in the United States.