USA Patriot Act – 2001

USA Patriot Act – 2001

  • Purposed with helping to identify money laundering activities. 


Because of the September 11th tragedy, congress enacted what’s now known as the USA Patriot Act.  The “Patriot” Act granted the Federal government the authority to better address potential money laundering activities which may be utilized to fund domestic and foreign terrorism.  They accomplished this by eliminating certain aspects of our American civil liberties and privileges, like the right to privacy.


In theory, the authority to “provide guidance to financial institutions and increase regulation on financial services when deemed necessary” has made conventional methods of money laundering and terrorist funding difficult.  


In addition to the regulatory authority to require unconditional compliance from financial institutions, other key components of the Patriot Act are purposed with,


  • Improving the ability for financial institutions to better ensure employee integrity,


  • Seize known laundered assets, 


  • *Requiring individuals and domestic (especially licensed financial & risk management professionals) entities to report potential money laundering activities,


  • Investigate US Officials and prosecute for attempts to use the US Financial system for unauthorized personal gain. 


*Mental Note!  

A re-occurring theme of *self-regulation is developing.


  • The Patriot Act outlines how insurers and financial institutions are *Required by Law to report illegal and/or unethical activities.  


Since the implementation of the Patriot Act  in 2001, insurers and financial institutions with the ability to transfer funds most  develop & maintain internal compliance processes and hosting specialized trainings focused on identifying “abnormalities” which may (or may not) be related to illegal money laundering activities.  To meet these new corporate responsibilities, many entities appointed anti-money laundering officers to oversee these processes.

The Patriot Act re-defined proper identification and as a result, opening a bank account, obtaining insurance or any other type of financial services require the individual or entity to properly verify their identity.  

  • This verification process is typically accomplished by having consumers furnish two (2) forms of approved identification.  


Although it is impossible to eliminate terrorist funding completely, the checks and balances imposed by the Patriot Act render conventional insurance methods of transferring money ineffective.


Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a way to transfer a revelant amount of money to another individual using a health insurance strategy however, Annuities and Life Insurance strategies are EXTREMELY efficient ways of transfering wealth from one individual or entity to another.  


Since 911, *Americans and guest to our country have been conditioned to be familiar with the “See Something, Say Something” philosophy because, it’s a terrific way to add a layer of protection to our everyday lives.


*Civil responsibility to Self-Regulate.


Public saftey is everyone’s responsibiity.  If you’re insurance licensed, reporting suspicious or illegal activities is your responsibility and is required by law.  Licensees who turn a blind eye to potential illegal activities and choose to stay commission over duity focused, may eventually be used as pawns by someone with bad intentions.  


Imagine the guilt if your negligence helped a terrorist fund an attack against your community.  Even worse, you will face criminal charges.  


*Legal responsibility to Self-Regulate.


Hopefully you’ve made the connection between the Patriot Act and our professional responsibility to verify, identify & *retain client payment records for five (5) years # .  


Throughout this course I try to not project a “Big Brother” is watching you vibe because, like you see here… Our responsibility to archive premium payment information could be one day used to investigate a client – Not you!  


Insurance laws aren’t designed with the intent of harassing ethical professionals, they’re designed to weed out unethical and incompetent people.  Sometimes, criminal

activities go unnoticed for years.  Once identified, investigators typically have to track down information from numerous sources and tie the facts together to assemble a case.  

  • It wouldn’t be unreasonable for an investigation to take years before it goes to trial.


Keeping hard copies of records seems archaic and inefficient but, if you refuse to let go of those early Boomer ways, that’s on you.  These days, most of us have the ability to archive digital (scans) or keep a photo of relevant documents like Applications, changes to endorsements or other documents which require the clients signature or initial.  


You’re assumed to be an ethical person up to the moment you give your neighbors a reason to tell the Department of Financial Services otherwise.  Staying compliant is easy… Don’t take shortcuts and remember, desperate measures typically equal violations. 


Let’s briefly discuss the use of the word REQUIRED… 


The regulation of our Financial and Insurance marketplace is the professional responsibility of every licensee within it.  The “If you See Something, Say Something” message has been broadcasted and displayed throughout our nations busses, trains and airports in hopes of preventing another tragedy.  


Reporting financial anomalies and intercepting terrorist funding is as important as identifying a suspicious package.   




Behavior which undermines a strong professional or social environment should never be tolerated… FROM ANYONE!


  • *Reporting “unfair” and/or improper business practices is in sync with Florida’s Agent Code of Ethics and the *Liaisons responsibility to the marketplace.


When we accept the guidelines within the Insurance Agent’s Code of Ethics, we assume a small amount of professional responsibility to protect our marketplace.  Of course, we’re not expected to physically intervene however, asking us to anonymously report unfair behavior and improper business practices is a reasonable middle ground. 


The Patriot Act in comparison to the Agent Code of Ethics can be seen as a way to extend professional responsibility into the public sector in order to promote regulation as a social responsibility.  Protecting your neighbors, protects your loved ones as well.


Sometimes, doing nothing and watching an injustice happen is in fact at least, criminally negligent if you’ve taken an oath to protect the public.  If you need an

example… All the officers involved in the George Floyd incident have been indited on charges – Even the rookie who watched in scilence.



#BlackLivesMatter + #BlueLivesMatter = #AllLivesMatter 






#JusticeForAll – #PowerofWe – #NeverHuntAlone