Press Releases & Statements

Treasury Names Director to Lead Financial Crime Fighting Bureau

Permanent Leadership Will Empower Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to Better Safeguard U.S. Financial System

WASHINGTON, DC –  Today, the U.S. Treasury Department named Andrea Gacki to lead the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which serves as the U.S. financial intelligence unit and anti-money laundering standard setter. Ms. Gacki comes to the role after serving several years as the head of the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), Treasury’s sanctions office. Ms. Gacki will succeed Himamauli Das, who has served in an acting capacity for the past two years. 

“The U.S. is the easiest place in the world to hide dirty money. In naming a permanent director, Treasury has taken a crucial step to empower FinCEN to better safeguard the U.S. financial system and defend against ever-evolving financial threats,” said Ian Gary, executive director of the FACT Coalition. “The new FinCEN director has no small task ahead. It’s up to the new director to keep up the momentum and deliver reforms that will root out dirty money flowing through our markets.” 

These reforms include the timely implementation of the bipartisan Corporate Transparency Act, which will end the abuse of certain anonymous U.S. entities by requiring entities to name their true, “beneficial” owner to a secure directory housed at FinCEN. Anonymous shell entities are a regular tool used by corrupt and criminal actors to evade sanctions and access global markets. FinCEN has committed to launching the directory by January, but a key rulemaking defining how authorized users will access the database remains unfinalized. Likewise, FinCEN is responsible for delivering landmark anti-money laundering due diligence to the $50 trillion real estate and $11 trillion private investment markets, as pledged in the 2021 U.S. Strategy on Countering Corruption. 

“We look forward to Ms. Gacki stepping into this role,” said Zoë Reiter, co-founder of the Anti-Corruption Data Collective. “We hope that she will demonstrate from day one that she takes seriously the threat that the black box of private investment funds poses to national security. We can’t allow Russian oligarchs like Suleiman Kerimov to have an easy backdoor into the U.S. financial system through U.S. investments. That’s why we need to make much faster headway to tackle the opacity of this sector.” 

In March, the FACT Coalition led a letter with 26 organizations calling on the U.S. Treasury to name a permanent director, noting that the lack of permanent leadership has, “complicate[d] endeavors to set a clear vision and direction, build and maintain a collaborative leadership team, and ensure staff are best able to deliver for the American people.” Permanent leadership will now empower FinCEN to set course for the crucial reforms ahead. 

“We are grateful to Acting Director Das for his years of service, leading the bureau through a period during which the need for bold reforms to address the U.S. dirty money problem has been clearer than ever,” said Mr. Gary. 

“FinCEN can’t take its foot off the gas,” said Mr. Gary. “The leadership transition must not further slow down the bureau from delivering key rulemakings to keep out illicit funds. In December, the United States will be on the center stage as the host of the UN Convention Against Corruption Conference in Atlanta. We expect FinCEN to keep up the pace to deliver U.S. anti-corruption reforms ahead of the summit, and demonstrate its global leadership on these issues.”


Notes to the Editor

  • See the FinCEN press release naming Andrea Gacki as FinCEN director. 
  • This March, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen reiterated that, “there’s a good argument that right now, the best place to hide and launder ill-gotten gains is actually the United States.” 
  • Last year, Treasury froze $1 billion in assets held by Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, who used a U.S. trust to hold the funds and invest them in public and private U.S. companies via investment firms. 
  • On Tuesday July 18, the House Financial Services Committee will have a hearing titled, “Potential Consequences of FinCEN’s Beneficial Ownership Rulemaking,” in which Gary Kalman of FACT Member Transparency International-US will be testifying.