The Latest

AC Joins Letter Calling on Secretary Yellen to Appoint Permanent FinCEN Leadership

March 24, 2023

On March 8, the Antiquities Coalition joined the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition and 24 others in co-signing a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. 

The letter urges Secretary Yellen to appoint a permanent director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the office responsible for setting national anti-money laundering standards and serving as the country’s financial intelligence unit. Stable leadership is needed to ensure the bureau sets rules to effectively curb the illicit trade in art and antiquities.

The letter emphasizes that without steady leadership, the bureau will not be able to fulfill its mission and reach its full potential, specifically stating:

“For nearly two years, the Bureau has gone without permanent leadership, contradicting both the gravity of FinCEN’s mission and the stated national security, economic, and criminal justice objectives of the Administration. Lack of a permanent director complicates endeavors to set a clear vision and direction, build and maintain a collaborative leadership team, and ensure staff are best able to deliver for the American people.”

The continuing exemption of the art and antiquities market from standard laws and oversight, which now cover all industries of comparable risk and size, is a documented and growing threat to our national security and integrity, as well as the vast majority of legitimate collectors, dealers, auction houses, and museums. FinCEN is vital to ending these financial crimes to protect our shared history, national security, and global economy.

The Antiquities Coalition will continue to work alongside anti-money laundering organizations to provide recommendations for the U.S. government to combat cultural racketeering.

Learn more and read the letter here.