31 U.S.C. § 5318 - Compliance, exemptions, and summons authority

Cite as:31 U.S.C. § 5318
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-21 (6/12/2019)
 
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(a) GENERAL POWERS OF SECRETARY.-The Secretary of the Treasury may (except under section 5315 of this title and regulations prescribed under section 5315)-

(1) except as provided in subsection (b)(2), delegate duties and powers under this subchapter to an appropriate supervising agency and the United States Postal Service;

(2) require a class of domestic financial institutions or nonfinancial trades or businesses to maintain appropriate procedures to ensure compliance with this subchapter and regulations prescribed under this subchapter or to guard against money laundering;

(3) examine any books, papers, records, or other data of domestic financial institutions or nonfinancial trades or businesses relevant to the recordkeeping or reporting requirements of this subchapter;

(4) summon a financial institution or nonfinancial trade or business, an officer or employee of a financial institution or nonfinancial trade or business (including a former officer or employee), or any person having possession, custody, or care of the reports and records required under this subchapter, to appear before the Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate at a time and place named in the summons and to produce such books, papers, records, or other data, and to give testimony, under oath, as may be relevant or material to an investigation described in subsection (b);

(5) exempt from the requirements of this subchapter any class of transactions within any State if the Secretary determines that-

(A) under the laws of such State, that class of transactions is subject to requirements substantially similar to those imposed under this subchapter; and

(B) there is adequate provision for the enforcement of such requirements;

(6) rely on examinations conducted by a State supervisory agency of a category of financial institution, if the Secretary determines that-

(A) the category of financial institution is required to comply with this subchapter and regulations prescribed under this subchapter; or

(B) the State supervisory agency examines the category of financial institution for compliance with this subchapter and regulations prescribed under this subchapter; and

(7) prescribe an appropriate exemption from a requirement under this subchapter and regulations prescribed under this subchapter. The Secretary may revoke an exemption under this paragraph or paragraph (5) by actually or constructively notifying the parties affected. A revocation is effective during judicial review.

(b) LIMITATIONS ON SUMMONS POWER.-

(1) SCOPE OF POWER.-The Secretary of the Treasury may take any action described in paragraph (3) or (4) of subsection (a) only in connection with investigations for the purpose of civil enforcement of violations of this subchapter, section 21 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, section 411 1 of the National Housing Act, or chapter 2 of Public Law 91-508 ( 12 U.S.C. 1951 et seq.) or any regulation under any such provision.

(2) AUTHORITY TO ISSUE.-A summons may be issued under subsection (a)(4) only by, or with the approval of, the Secretary of the Treasury or a supervisory level delegate of the Secretary of the Treasury.

(c) ADMINISTRATIVE ASPECTS OF SUMMONS.-

(1) PRODUCTION AT DESIGNATED SITE.-A summons issued pursuant to this section may require that books, papers, records, or other data stored or maintained at any place be produced at any designated location in any State or in any territory or other place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States not more than 500 miles distant from any place where the financial institution or nonfinancial trade or business operates or conducts business in the United States.

(2) FEES AND TRAVEL EXPENSES.-Persons summoned under this section shall be paid the same fees and mileage for travel in the United States that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States.

(3) NO LIABILITY FOR EXPENSES.-The United States shall not be liable for any expense, other than an expense described in paragraph (2), incurred in connection with the production of books, papers, records, or other data under this section.

(d) SERVICE OF SUMMONS.-Service of a summons issued under this section may be by registered mail or in such other manner calculated to give actual notice as the Secretary may prescribe by regulation.

(e) CONTUMACY OR REFUSAL.-

(1) REFERRAL TO ATTORNEY GENERAL.-In case of contumacy by a person issued a summons under paragraph (3) or (4) of subsection (a) or a refusal by such person to obey such summons, the Secretary of the Treasury shall refer the matter to the Attorney General.

(2) JURISDICTION OF COURT.-The Attorney General may invoke the aid of any court of the United States within the jurisdiction of which-

(A) the investigation which gave rise to the summons is being or has been carried on;

(B) the person summoned is an inhabitant; or

(C) the person summoned carries on business or may be found,

to compel compliance with the summons.

(3) COURT ORDER.-The court may issue an order requiring the person summoned to appear before the Secretary or his delegate to produce books, papers, records, and other data, to give testimony as may be necessary to explain how such material was compiled and maintained, and to pay the costs of the proceeding.

(4) FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ORDER.-Any failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt thereof.

(5) SERVICE OF PROCESS.-All process in any case under this subsection may be served in any judicial district in which such person may be found.

(f) WRITTEN AND SIGNED STATEMENT REQUIRED.-No person shall qualify for an exemption under subsection (a)(5) 1 unless the relevant financial institution or nonfinancial trade or business prepares and maintains a statement which-

(1) describes in detail the reasons why such person is qualified for such exemption; and

(2) contains the signature of such person.

(g) REPORTING OF SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTIONS.-

(1) IN GENERAL.-The Secretary may require any financial institution, and any director, officer, employee, or agent of any financial institution, to report any suspicious transaction relevant to a possible violation of law or regulation.

(2) NOTIFICATION PROHIBITED.-

(A) IN GENERAL.-If a financial institution or any director, officer, employee, or agent of any financial institution, voluntarily or pursuant to this section or any other authority, reports a suspicious transaction to a government agency-

(i) neither the financial institution, director, officer, employee, or agent of such institution (whether or not any such person is still employed by the institution), nor any other current or former director, officer, or employee of, or contractor for, the financial institution or other reporting person, may notify any person involved in the transaction that the transaction has been reported; and

(ii) no current or former officer or employee of or contractor for the Federal Government or of or for any State, local, tribal, or territorial government within the United States, who has any knowledge that such report was made may disclose to any person involved in the transaction that the transaction has been reported, other than as necessary to fulfill the official duties of such officer or employee.

(B) DISCLOSURES IN CERTAIN EMPLOYMENT REFERENCES.-

(i) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.-Notwithstanding the application of subparagraph (A) in any other context, subparagraph (A) shall not be construed as prohibiting any financial institution, or any director, officer, employee, or agent of such institution, from including information that was included in a report to which subparagraph (A) applies-

(I) in a written employment reference that is provided in accordance with section 18(w) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act in response to a request from another financial institution; or

(II) in a written termination notice or employment reference that is provided in accordance with the rules of a self-regulatory organization registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission,

except that such written reference or notice may not disclose that such information was also included in any such report, or that such report was made.

(ii) INFORMATION NOT REQUIRED.-Clause (i) shall not be construed, by itself, to create any affirmative duty to include any information described in clause (i) in any employment reference or termination notice referred to in clause (i).

(3) LIABILITY FOR DISCLOSURES.-

(A) IN GENERAL.-Any financial institution that makes a voluntary disclosure of any possible violation of law or regulation to a government agency or makes a disclosure pursuant to this subsection or any other authority, and any director, officer, employee, or agent of such institution who makes, or requires another to make any such disclosure, shall not be liable to any person under any law or regulation of the United States, any constitution, law, or regulation of any State or political subdivision of any State, or under any contract or other legally enforceable agreement (including any arbitration agreement), for such disclosure or for any failure to provide notice of such disclosure to the person who is the subject of such disclosure or any other person identified in the disclosure.

(B) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.-Subparagraph (A) shall not be construed as creating-

(i) any inference that the term "person", as used in such subparagraph, may be construed more broadly than its ordinary usage so as to include any government or agency of government; or

(ii) any immunity against, or otherwise affecting, any civil or criminal action brought by any government or agency of government to enforce any constitution, law, or regulation of such government or agency.

(4) SINGLE DESIGNEE FOR REPORTING SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTIONS.-

(A) IN GENERAL.-In requiring reports under paragraph (1) of suspicious transactions, the Secretary of the Treasury shall designate, to the extent practicable and appropriate, a single officer or agency of the United States to whom such reports shall be made.

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