Kenneth Blanco named FinCEN director

Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced Kenneth A. Blanco today as Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau in Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI).

“Ken Blanco is an important addition at Treasury, and will focus on combating money laundering and illicit threats by those who seek to abuse our financial system,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “His extensive background in law enforcement will be a strong asset to our TFI team.”

“I worked with Ken at the Department of Justice and know that he will be a tremendous leader for FinCEN. He has worked closely with many in TFI for years and his long standing relationships within Treasury and across the law enforcement community will be invaluable to our mission to combat illicit finance and safeguard the financial system,” said Treasury Under Secretary Sigal Mandelker. “Ken will work closely with Treasury component offices to maximize our authorities and effectiveness. I would also like to thank Jamal El-Hindi for his leadership as Acting Director during this interim period.”

“I am excited to take my 28 years of prosecutorial experience with me to FinCEN, and to join a fabulous team at Treasury. TFI is dedicated to protecting the American people and securing the integrity of our financial system from bad actors who commit acts of terror or other crimes against our nation,” said Mr. Blanco. “I look forward to working with others across law enforcement and the private sector in this important endeavor. I am grateful to the Department of Justice, and my dedicated colleagues there, for the wonderful career I have enjoyed over the last two decades. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve with them.”

FinCEN’s wide-ranging work to protect the U.S. financial system from money laundering and other forms of illicit financial activity is a cornerstone of the Treasury Department’s efforts under the office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). Since its establishment in 1990, FinCEN has been at the forefront of the development of regulatory policy to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and has been a respected leader among the world’s financial intelligence units.

Mr. Blanco joins Treasury after serving as the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division at the United States Department of Justice. He was appointed to the position of Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division in April 2008. During his tenure with the Criminal Division, Mr. Blanco has overseen a number of its sections, including the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (formerly the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section), the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, the Organized Crime and Gang Section, and the Child Exploitation Section.

Mr. Blanco has supervised many of the Criminal Division’s most significant national and international investigations into illicit finance, money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, and sanctions violations, including investigations of global financial institutions and money services businesses. Much of his work is in the international banking and financial services area, working and collaborating with international partners in countries such as Mexico, Colombia and Panama, among others.

Mr. Blanco joined the Department of Justice almost two decades ago as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida. He later served as the Deputy Chief of Narcotics/Chief of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Acting Chief of Narcotics, and Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Section in that Office. Mr. Blanco has also served as General Counsel to the 94 United States Attorney’s Offices and the Executive Office of United States Attorneys and as Chief of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section.

Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Mr. Blanco began his career at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, where he served in various sections including the Organized Crime Section, Public Corruption Section, and the Major Narcotics Section. Mr. Blanco earned his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he also currently teaches as an Adjunct Professor of law.

Mr. Blanco is expected to transition to FinCEN Director from his current position as Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice in the next month. 

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