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Ocean Bank and Homeland Security Investigations Miami (HSI) Hold Presentation On Anti Money Laundering “Red Flags” on Venezuelan Public Corruption

/EIN News/ -- Miami, Oct. 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ocean Bank hosted a presentation by officials from Homeland Security Investigations Miami (HSI) on the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Advisory on Public Corruption in Venezuela, highlighting steps financial institutions can take to avoid falling prey of money laundering red flags and prevent proceeds from Venezuelan public corruption from moving through the U.S. financial system.

The presentation by John Tobon, Deputy Special Agent in Charge for HSI, included how Venezuelan officials and Venezuelan state-owned entities attempt to manipulate the system through seemingly legitimate contracts, shell corporations and trading companies.  Tobon oversees HSI financial crime and money laundering investigations in South Florida.

“Holding this event with HSI emphasizes Ocean Bank’s culture of complying with FinCEN rules and regulations,” said President and CEO Agostinho Alfonso Macedo.  “Ocean Bank does not and will not open accounts for the Venezuelan government or officials of the Venezuelan government or anyone classified by the U.S. government as a Politically Exposed Person from Venezuela.

In attendance at the seminar, moderated by Daniel Gutierrez, V.P, Regulatory Risk Manager for Ocean Bank and Chair of the Florida International Bankers Association's (FIBA) Anti-Money Laundering Committee, were Ocean Bank’s senior management team, officers who handle Venezuelan business accounts and the BSA/Regulatory Risk staff.

“At Ocean Bank we hold our officers and staff to the highest standard,” Macedo said. “This event continues to educate the Ocean Bank team on current global issues targeting our industry.”

The presentation included “Red Flags” banks should look for in dealing with Venezuela:

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Ocean Bank executives and Homeland Security Investigations officials at the HSI presentation to bank officers. Pictured left to right are: Agostinho Alfonso Macedo, Ocean Bank President & CEO; John Tobon, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations (HIS); Daniel Gutierrez, VP & Regulatory Risk Manager of Ocean Bank and Barbara Brick, SVP & Director of BSA & Compliance of Ocean Bank.


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  • Transactions involving Venezuelan government contracts that are directed to personal accounts.
  • Transactions involving Venezuelan government contracts that are directed to companies that operate in an unrelated line of business.
  • Transactions involving shell corporations, general “trading companies,” or companies that lack a general business purpose.
  • Documentation corroborating transactions involving Venezuelan government contracts that include charges at substantially higher prices than market rates or that include overly simple documentation.
  • Payments involving Venezuelan government contracts that originate from non-official Venezuelan accounts or from third parties that are not Venezuelan Government entities.
  • Cash deposits instead of wire transfers in the accounts of companies with Venezuelan government contracts.
  • Transactions for the purchase of real estate—primarily in the South Florida and Houston, Texas regions—involving current or former Venezuelan government officials.

About Ocean Bank
Ocean Bank is the largest independent, state-chartered commercial bank headquartered in Florida, with $3.8 billion in assets. Chartered in 1982, Ocean Bank operates its branch network throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The community bank has received numerous awards and accolades from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, The Beacon Council and the Florida Department of Education, among others, for its support of our South Florida communities. For more information, log on to www.oceanbank.com.

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Cheryl Rees
                    Ocean Bank
                    (305) 569 - 5029
                    Crees@oceanbank.com
                    
                    Ray Casas
                    Wragg & Casas
                    (305) 3721234
                    rcasas@wraggcasas.com
                    

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