Oaks Card Club fined $650k over money handling

The Oaks Card Club in Emeryville will pay a $650,000 fine for willful violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, officials with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network announced.

This is the first assessment against and settlement by the FinCEN with a card club. A card club is a gaming establishment where games are usually limited to those involving cards and play is against other players rather than the house.

Oaks Club officials admitted they violated the reporting and program requirements of the act, financial authorities said.

Club officials relied on a misleading and inaccurate anti-money laundering policy to train employees.

The policy lacked instructions, or provided the wrong instructions, about the club’s Bank Secrecy Act obligations and reporting requirements, according to financial authorities.

The policy also did not provide instructions on when staff should file a Suspicious Activity Report.

Prosecutors with the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California filed criminal charges against multiple club employees and customers after state and federal law enforcement raided the club in 2011, financial authorities said.

After the raid, club officials still failed to file Suspicious Activity Reports for criminal activity on club property.