Man Pleads Guilty to Bank Secrecy Act Charges in $1B Scheme

A New York man pleaded guilty today to failure to maintain an anti-money laundering program in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act as part of a scheme to bring lucrative and high-risk international financial business to a small, unsophisticated credit union.

According to court documents, from 2014 to 2016, Gyanendra Asre, 56, of New York, was a member of the supervisory board of the New York State Employees Federal Credit Union (NYSEFCU), a financial institution that was required to have an anti-money laundering program. Through the NYSEFCU and other entities, Asre participated in a scheme that brought over $1 billion in high-risk transactions, including millions of dollars of bulk cash transactions from a foreign bank, to the NYSEFCU. 

In addition, Asre was a certified anti-money laundering specialist who was experienced in international banking and trained in anti-money laundering compliance and procedures, and represented to the NYSEFCU that he and his businesses would conduct appropriate anti-money laundering oversight as required by the Bank Secrecy Act. Based on Asre’s representations, the NYSEFCU, a small credit union with a volunteer board that primarily served New York state public employees, allowed Asre and his entities to conduct high-risk transactions through the NYSEFCU. Contrary to his representations, Asre willfully failed to implement and maintain an anti-money laundering program at the NYSEFCU. This failure caused the NYSEFCU to process the high-risk transactions without appropriate oversight and without ever filing a single Suspicious Activity Report, as required by law.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 3. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Erin Keegan of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York made the announcement.

HSI investigated the case.

Acting Chief Margaret Moeser of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan C. Harris and Francisco J. Navarro for the Eastern District of New York are prosecuting the case.

MLARS’ Bank Integrity Unit investigates and prosecutes banks and other financial institutions, including their officers, managers, and employees, whose actions threaten the integrity of the individual institution or the wider financial system.

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