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426

Prohibiting Banks from Notifying Customers of Grand Jury Subpoenas

There are two situations when banks and their personnel are prohibited from notifying their customers of a grand jury subpoena for their records. The first is when the government obtains a court order delaying notification by following the procedures set at § 3409(a) of the Act. See Delayed Notice at 11, 12 U.S.C. § 3413(i). The second situation is where the records are being subpoenaed to investigate crimes against a financial institution or supervisory agency, 12 U.S.C. § 3420(b) makes it a crime for the bank or its personnel to provide notice to the customer.

* It should also be noted that 18 U.S.C. § 1510(b) establishes criminal penalties for situations where an officer of a financial institution notifies, directly or indirectly, any person regarding the existence or contents of a subpoena with the intent to obstruct a judicial proceeding.