OFAC Search Turns Up Alleged Taliban Operative

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TORONTO – The costly and time-consuming process of matching potential member names with potential terrorists under the USA PATRIOT Act paid off for Sunmark FCU. The Schenectady, N.Y., credit union normally runs the names of potential members and money transfers through the federal government’s OFAC list—Office of Foreign Asset Control—to determine whether the individual is on any compilation of terrorists or banned entities, according to Bruce Beaudette, president of the $430-million institution. The costly procedure—Sunmark pays $2,000 a year to use the Bridger Insight software—paid off when one applicant was found to be an alleged member of the Taliban, with which the U.S. and other countries are at war in Afghanistan. But not just any member—the applicant was allegedly the Taliban’s official photographer, Beautette recalled during Thursday's break-out session at NAFCU’s annual convention. Credit union officials subsequently discovered the alleged Taliban photographer’s girlfriend worked also at one of the credit union's branches as a teller. The teller is no longer with the credit union.

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