Suspicious Activity: Inside the FinCEN Files

By Pineapple Street Studios, BuzzFeed News

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 Sep 21, 2020


Pineapple Street Studios and BuzzFeed News bring you this five-part series investigating how the most powerful banks in the world can facilitate the worst of humanity – terrorism, human trafficking, the drug trade – all in plain sight of the government.

Episode Date
Episode Five: Political Will
Throughout this reporting project, Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier wanted to talk to someone who was the subject of a suspicious activity report to ask, “Why did the bank flag you?” Only one person was willing to talk: real estate developer and former associate of President Trump, Felix Sater. And Senator Ron Wyden and a former DOJ prosecutor tell us what they think needs to be done to stem the flow of dirty money in our banking system. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 15, 2020
Episode Four: See Something, Say Something
Two former employees of Standard Chartered say they were ignored and eventually fired when they reported accounts at the bank that looked fishy to them – accounts they suspected were violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. But as BuzzFeed News reporter Richard Holmes explains, there was someone else who thought many of the accounts were suspect enough to report to FinCEN: the bank itself.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 08, 2020
Episode Three: Know Your Customer
Even in the finance world, Deutsche Bank has a troubled reputation. One of its darkest and most mysterious chapters happened when it facilitated the laundering of $10 billion dollars for anonymous shell companies around the world. But BuzzFeed News reporter Tom Warren has now discovered whose money the bank moved and how far up knowledge of the problem went. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 01, 2020
Episode Two: Permission Slip
HSBC was the poster child of a bad bank. In 2012 the bank was slapped with a 1.9 billion dollar fine and told it needed to clean up its act, or face prosecution. Digging into the FinCEN Files, BuzzFeed News reporters Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold found out what really happened with the bank. Plus, how over 400 reporters around the world are collaborating on this massive reporting project. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 24, 2020
Episode One: The Documents
A trove of secret documents received by BuzzFeed News reveals how banks profit off terror and organized crime — and the ways that governments fail to stop it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 20, 2020
Coming 9/20: Something Big
We can’t tell you much yet. Sorry! But we can tell you that it’s big. Possibly the biggest reporting project ever. And that it’s coming on Sept. 20. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 19, 2020