- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The Bank of Mingo has agreed to forfeit $2.2 million after being charged with failing to take steps to prevent customers from laundering money, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said.

Goodwin said in a news release that the Williamson-based bank failed to detect and report suspicious transactions by employees and agents of Aracoma Contracting, LLC, an employee leasing firm.

Aracoma pleaded guilty in 2014 to withdrawing more than $2 million in cash from the bank in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid federal reporting requirements. A federal investigation determined that Aracoma used the cash to meet its payroll, avoid paying employment taxes and bribe a former workers’ compensation auditor.

Darrin McCormick, a former manager of the bank’s Williamson branch, pleaded guilty in 2014 to lying to federal authorities about suspicious banking activity by Aracoma.

The federal Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions to report cash transactions exceeding $10,000.

“These are not just simply technical violations. Illegal structuring enables and helps to conceal larger criminal schemes. Had Bank of Mingo maintained an effective anti-money laundering program, other criminal activity might have been nipped in the bud,” Goodwin said.

The Bank of Mingo said it accepts responsibility for its past actions.

Federal prosecutors charged the bank in an information filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

Goodwin said prosecutors asked the court to defer proceedings in the case for a year so the bank can take remedial measures and demonstrate its acceptance of responsibility.

Several measures already have been taken, including development and implementation of internal controls to ensure compliance with the law, the bank said.

The bank said it expects the charges to be dismissed after the deferred prosecution agreement’s requirements are fulfilled.

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