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Westchester Check Cashing, Inc., a Licensed Casher of Checks, has entered into a Settlement Agreement with the Superintendent of Banks which includes the Payment of a $35,000 fine


March 24, 2004

State of New York Banking Department
New York, New York


In the Matter of  

WESTCHESTER CHECK CASHING, INC. 

A Casher of Checks Licensed Pursuant To Article IX-A of the New York Banking Law 

               (Respondent)


SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

WHEREAS, Westchester Check Cashing, Inc. (“Westchester” or the “Licensee”), with corporate headquarters at 1 Saw Mill River Road, Yonkers, New York 10701, was granted a license on January 19, 1995 to engage in business as a licensed casher of checks pursuant to Article IX-A of the New York Banking Law (the “Banking Law”) by the Superintendent of Banks (the “Superintendent”) of the New York State Banking Department (the “Banking Department”); and 

WHEREAS, in recognition of their common goals to ensure compliance with applicable federal and state laws, rules and regulations by the Licensee and to manage financial, operational, legal, reputational and compliance risk of the Licensee, the Banking Department and the Licensee have mutually agreed to enter into this Settlement Agreement (“Agreement”);

WHEREAS, an examination of Westchester, as of August 6, 2003, revealed numerous violations of the Banking Law Section 373.1(b), relating to the cashing of checks in excess of certain enumerated allowed amounts; violations of Banking Law Section 373.1(a), relating to the cashing of postdated checks; violations of Part 400.3(d)(7) of the Superintendent’s Regulations (“Part 400”), which requires that the licensee’s “returned items record” include the name of the bank on which a check, draft, or money order is drawn; numerous violations of Part 400.6(b)(3), relating to the cashing of checks that have an expectation of being dishonored; violations of Part 400.6(d), relating to the required Banking Department consumer signage; violations of  the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”), as set forth in 31 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 103.125, relating to rules and regulations requiring an acceptable anti-money laundering compliance program and the designation of a qualified compliance officer to assure day to day compliance with the anti-money laundering compliance program and with the BSA.

WHEREAS, the Superintendent and the Licensee mutually agree to resolve the issues noted during the examination on the basis of the terms and conditions set forth herein, which include the payment by Licensee of a fine in the amount of $35,000.00, in lieu of litigating such issues in a hearing seeking revocation of Westchester’s licenses.

NOW, THEREFORE IT IS STIPULATED AND AGREED BY THE PARTIES HERETO AS FOLLOWS:

  1. Without admitting or denying the aforementioned allegations, and fully understanding the terms and conditions of this Agreement, Westchester knowingly and voluntarily waives (a) its right to a hearing on the violations cited above, and (b) any and all rights of appeal relating to this matter.

  2. Westchester will take all necessary steps to assure that it is in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, and will submit quarterly reports to the Department regarding its compliance with, among other things, the BSA and applicable banking laws and regulations. At a minimum, the report must include a record of all checks cashed over $6,000 in the reporting quarter and a description of the procedures put into place to prevent the cashing of post dated checks and checks in excess of the legal limit ($6,000).  The first such quarterly report is due no later than thirty (30) days from the date of the execution of this Agreement, and then, every 90 days thereafter until no longer required by the Department.

  3. No later than thirty (30) days from the execution of this Agreement, Westchester agrees to retain an outside firm, acceptable to the
    Department, to conduct an independent review of its anti-money laundering program. Licensee will submit the results of such review to the Banking Department within fifteen (15) days of its completion.

  4. Westchester agrees to pay a fine in the amount of $35,000.00 in the following manner: $20,000 on the date of the Agreement; $15,000, 90 days after the date of the first payment.  Each payment shall be made by electronic transfer, in immediately available funds, pursuant to transfer instructions received from the Banking Department. Failure to make timely payment shall result in the Banking Department commencing a hearing to revoke the licensee’s licenses.

  5. All communications regarding this Agreement shall be sent to:

Paul J. Fazio
Deputy Superintendent of Banks
Licensed Financial Services Division
New York State Banking Department
One State Street
New York, New York 10004

Jeffrey C. Sharfman, President
Westchester Check Cashing, Inc.
1 Saw Mill River Road
Yonkers, New York 10701

Scott K. McClain, Esq.          
Winne, Banta,Hetherington & Basralian, P.C.
Court Plaza North
25 Main Street
Hackensack, New Jersey 07602

  1. The provisions of this Agreement shall not bar, estop or otherwise prevent  any state or federal agency or department, from taking any other action affecting the Licensee, any of its current or former officers, directors, employees, or insiders, or their successors or assigns in connection with any matter relating to this Settlement Agreement. Nor shall this Agreement bar, estop or otherwise prevent the Superintendent from entering any other action affecting the Licensee, any of its current or former officers, directors, employees, or insiders, or their successors or assigns in connection with any matters not covered by this Agreement.

  2.   No extension or waiver of the terms of this Agreement shall be binding on the Banking Department unless it is in writing and signed by the Superintendent.

  3. Each provision of this Agreement shall remain effective and enforceable until stayed, modified, terminated or suspended in writing by the Superintendent

  4. The effective date of this Agreement is the date on which it is executed by the Superintendent or her Deputy.

  5. The provisions of this Agreement are not confidential.

Agreed to and Accepted: 

Dated:__________________.

By: ___________________________
Paul J. Fazio
Deputy Superintendent of Banks 
New York State Banking Department 

Dated:__________________.

By: ___________________________
Jeffrey C. Sharfman
President
Westchester Check Cashing, Inc.

 

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