Treasury Taps Sanctions Architect to Lead Financial Crimes Team

The Treasury Department announced Thursday that Andrea Gacchi, the architect of the Biden administration’s sanctions program, will take over as director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in September.

Her appointment is expected to strengthen a central institution in Washington’s efforts to crack down on money laundering and sanctions evasion, especially given the number of new penalties imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The US has led an ambitious international campaign to punish Russia for the war in Ukraine, restricting everything from Russia’s access to software updates to its ability to participate in the global financial system. This has led to a massive effort by Russia to evade sanctions using shell companies, foreign exchange trading and other complex financial maneuvers that the financial crime network known as FinCEN is trying to thwart. .

Gucky, who currently serves as director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control within the Treasury Department, has designed and imposed sanctions against countries such as Iran, North Korea and, most recently, Russia. In his new role at FinCEN, he will lead another division within the Treasury Department responsible for cracking down on money laundering, cybercrime and sanctions evasion.

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen has described Ms. Gucky as “an unparalleled warrior in the fight against the scourge of illicit finance” and credited her deep policy knowledge and international relationships with making her the right choice for the position. Stated.

“She has successfully used the Treasury Department’s financial tools, from financial sanctions to industry guidance and enforcement actions, to hold accountable those who threaten our national security and the international financial system,” Yellen said in a statement. said.

Gacky replaces Himamauri Das, who has temporarily led FinCEN. Her deputy at the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Bradley Smith, will be the next director.

A career civil servant, Gucky has served in the Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden administrations, and in both the Justice and Treasury Departments. She joined the Sanctions Bureau in 2008 and has been its Director since 2018.

Segal Mandelker, the Trump administration’s undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, promoted Gucky to director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Mandelker said the transition between the two Treasury departments is likely to go smoothly because Gacky understands federal interagency processes and works well with the private sector.

Gucky has emerged as a key figure on the Biden administration’s national security team. In late 2021, when the U.S. learned of a Russian military buildup near its border with Ukraine, she was sent to the European capital to begin drawing up plans for a coordinated sanctions effort.

At FinCEN, Mr. Gucky will take over the team, but companies operating in the United States will face increased reporting obligations on their ownership structure, and emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies will make money laundering and illicit financial activities rampant. Its responsibilities are increasing. FinCEN also works with Russia’s multilateral elites, agents and oligarchic commissions to track suspicious transactions by Russia’s wealthy over real estate, luxury goods and other valuable assets.

“Having Andrea on FinCEN means that as our goal shifts to trying to block Russia’s access, the creativity she’s been using at OFAC can help us prevent evasion. “We lack the necessary resources to fight an unjust war in Ukraine,” Deputy Finance Secretary Wally Adiemo said in an interview.

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