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Mizrahi Tefahot Bank of L.A. fined for Bank Secrecy Act violations

February 25, 2011 | 10:17 am

Mizrahi logo Regulators haved fined Mizrahi Tefahot Bank of Los Angeles $350,000 for alleged violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.

The law requires banks to report activity that might signify money laundering, tax evasion or other crimes, and to report cash transactions of $10,000 or higher.

The order to pay the civil penalty was imposed by the California Department of Financial Institutions and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which announced the action Friday. The order did not list the alleged violations.

Mizrahi Tefahot, a foreign office of an Israeli bank, agreed to pay the fine without admitting or denying it had violated the law. Its L.A. branch manager declined to comment and officials at its Tel Aviv headquarters couldn't immediately be reached.

The disclosure appeared in an announcement of the FDIC's January enforcement actions. The agency also reported an order requiring Sunwest Bank in Tustin to improve its Bank Secrecy Act compliance.

Sunwest Chief Executive Glenn Gray said his bank had moved too slowly to address BSA compliance problems at three failed banks it acquired in 2009 but is now doing so. 
--E. Scott Reckard