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Utah currency trading firm agrees to pay fine

A foreign-currency trading firm has agreed to pay $225,000 to settle allegations it failed to monitor retail accounts for evidence of money laundering.

The National Futures Association says Interbank FX of Salt Lake City and principal Todd Crosland agreed to tighten up the firm's trading practices.

The association said violations charged against Amanda Albretsen, also an Interbank principal and its former compliance director, will be dismissed after a year unless a new complaint is brought against her.

In the settlement approved Tuesday, the firm and its principals didn't admit or deny the allegations.

The complaint says that in one case, an agent for Interbank customer opened accounts worth $3.7 million in his own name, or more than three times what he listed as his net worth. In that case, Interbank should have filed a "Suspicious Activity Report" with the U.S. Treasury Department. It did so only after the FBI opened an investigation that led to a $31 million fraud indictment last year against the unidentified agent, who funneled business to Interbank.

Crosland said it's "really a judgment call" to determine at what point a firm should report suspicious activity.

"We didn't agree with them, but we didn't deny it either," Crosland said. "This type of thing happens with (companies such as) Goldman Sachs … and this is typically how they are resolved."

The National Futures Association is licensed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to enforce market rules on everything from pork bellies to foreign currencies.