The Treasury Department on Wednesday named Kenneth A. Blanco, a longtime criminal prosecutor with the Justice Department, as director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Blanco had been the acting assistant attorney general of the criminal division at the Justice Department since 2008, where he oversaw four sections including money laundering and asset recovery, narcotic and dangerous drugs, organized crime and gangs, and child exploitation.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the new Fincen director "will focus on combating money laundering and illicit threats by those who seek to abuse our financial system.” Bloomberg News

Blanco joined the Justice Department almost two decades ago as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida. He has served as the deputy chief of narcotics and chief of the high-intensity drug trafficking area, acting chief of narcotics, and deputy chief of major crimes.

He also served as general counsel to the 94 U.S. attorneys offices and the executive office of United States Attorneys, and as chief of the criminal division's narcotics and dangerous drug section.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a press release that Blanco "will focus on combating money laundering and illicit threats by those who seek to abuse our financial system.”

Fincen, a unit of Treasury's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, is a network that protects the financial system from money laundering and other forms of illicit financial activity.

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Kate Berry

Kate Berry

Kate Berry covers the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for American Banker.