6 episodes

Pineapple Street Studios and BuzzFeed News bring you this five-part series investigating how the most powerful banks in the world can facilitate the worst of humanity – terrorism, human trafficking, the drug trade – all in plain sight of the government.

Suspicious Activity: Inside the FinCEN Files Pineapple Street Studios

    • News Commentary
    • 3.3 • 3 Ratings

Pineapple Street Studios and BuzzFeed News bring you this five-part series investigating how the most powerful banks in the world can facilitate the worst of humanity – terrorism, human trafficking, the drug trade – all in plain sight of the government.

    Episode Five: Political Will

    Episode Five: Political Will

    Throughout this reporting project, Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier wanted to talk to someone who was the subject of a suspicious activity report to ask, “Why did the bank flag you?” Only one person was willing to talk: real estate developer and former associate of President Trump, Felix Sater. And Senator Ron Wyden and a former DOJ prosecutor tell us what they think needs to be done to stem the flow of dirty money in our banking system.
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    • 35 min
    Episode Four: See Something, Say Something

    Episode Four: See Something, Say Something

    Two former employees of Standard Chartered say they were ignored and eventually fired when they reported accounts at the bank that looked fishy to them – accounts they suspected were violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. But as BuzzFeed News reporter Richard Holmes explains, there was someone else who thought many of the accounts were suspect enough to report to FinCEN: the bank itself. 
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    • 28 min
    Episode Three: Know Your Customer

    Episode Three: Know Your Customer

    Even in the finance world, Deutsche Bank has a troubled reputation. One of its darkest and most mysterious chapters happened when it facilitated the laundering of $10 billion dollars for anonymous shell companies around the world. But BuzzFeed News reporter Tom Warren has now discovered whose money the bank moved and how far up knowledge of the problem went.
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    • 30 min
    Episode Two: Permission Slip

    Episode Two: Permission Slip

    HSBC was the poster child of a bad bank. In 2012 the bank was slapped with a 1.9 billion dollar fine and told it needed to clean up its act, or face prosecution. Digging into the FinCEN Files, BuzzFeed News reporters Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold found out what really happened with the bank. Plus, how over 400 reporters around the world are collaborating on this massive reporting project.
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    • 36 min
    Episode One: The Documents

    Episode One: The Documents

    A trove of secret documents received by BuzzFeed News reveals how banks profit off terror and organized crime — and the ways that governments fail to stop it.
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    • 29 min
    Coming 9/20: Something Big

    Coming 9/20: Something Big

    We can’t tell you much yet. Sorry! But we can tell you that it’s big. Possibly the biggest reporting project ever. And that it’s coming on Sept. 20.
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    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Khodorovosky ,

Great story that is unfortunately sensationalised

Perhaps it is Buzzfeed’s style of storytelling but I don’t know why the story is so hyped up and sensationalised. The story is exciting and fascinating by itself. By adding extra drama it simply comes across as over the top and rather than highlighting how important this story is, it instead makes it seem less serious than it is reality.

There seems to be a lot of summarising of points as well. It would be great if more details were divulged rather than repetitive recapping. The audience understands what is happening. It isn’t as complex as it is being made out to be. Money laundering stories are all over Netflix and on other podcasts. Listeners drawn to this podcast are likely to have a basic understanding of these principles and don’t need to be taken by the hand all the way through the story.

Also, the vocal fry of the American accents on this podcast makes it not particularly easy to listen to.

I very much appreciate the research that has gone into this story and the collaborative nature of Buzzfeed’s journalists allowed specialists to get involved and fully utilise the raw data. This in turn allowed Buzzfeed to tell a bigger and more important story. I think that is by far the greatest asset of this story.

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