GBM International, a general securities business in Houston, Texas, yesterday settled alleged anti-money laundering deficiencies for $250,000, according to a Finra filing.

GBM, which has one office in Houston, Texas, and eight registered representatives, has been a Finra member since 1991, the filing said, and is the U.S. office of Grupo Bursatil Mexicano, a Mexican wealth management company, according to the company’s website.

The settlement included a censure, the $250,000 fine and 90 days to remediate the alleged deficiencies, the filing said.

Officials at GBM were unavailable for comment.

According to the filing, from Sept. 2013 through Dec. 2016, GBM failed to establish and implement an anti-money laundering program that could detect and flag suspicious activity. “Specifically, GBM failed to reasonably investigate red flags of suspicious activity or determine whether the firm was required to file a suspicious activity report,” the filing said.

According to Finra, broker-dealers are required to have a written anti-money laundering program that is designed to detect and report suspicious transactions that might indicate violations of laws or regulations.

“FINRA issued guidance to member firms that they have a duty to (a) tailor their AML program to the particular risks of its business model, as well as its customer base; (b) monitor red flags of suspicious activity; and (c) where suspicious activity is detected, perform additional due diligence to determine whether or not to file a SAR,” the filing said.

While GBM had the written procedures, the firm failed to investigate occurrences where, among other things, customers were reluctant to provide complete information about the nature and purpose of activity, accounts were being maintained for corporate entities with no apparent business purpose, there were unusually large, repetitive wire transfers with no apparent business purpose, and there were unexplained high levels of account activity with low levels of securities transactions, according to the filing.

“For example, Account 1 and Account 2 had the same beneficial owner, despite being opened in the name of different entities, both of which were incorporated in high-risk locations. In less than one month, Account 1 received two incoming wires totaling approximately $421,000 from Mexico and wired approximately the same amount out to another financial institution in Belgium,” the filing said. “In one instance, Account 2 received a third-party wire for $400,000. Three days later, Account 2 sent a third-party wire for the same amount. GBM failed to reasonably investigate why the owner of Account 2 facilitated this money movement through Account 2 rather than through a personal or business bank account.”

Over a three-year review period, a third account conducted around 1,200 wire transfers totally more than $60 million and represented about a quarter of all the wire transfers processed by GBM, the filing said.

“GBM failed to examine why Account 3’s owner utilized Account 3, as opposed to a bank account, to pay for personal expenses, such as purchasing and renovating real estate and paying employees of a yacht,” the filing said. “Utilizing a securities account to pay personal expenses presents increased money laundering risk, and the firm failed to put in place reasonable procedures to mitigate the risk.”

This is not the first time GBM has run afoul of anti-money laundering regulations. In Dec. 2012, the firm was fined $20,000 for failing to implement an adequate customer identification program for delivery versus payment accounts, to identify accounts owned by foreign banks, and to conduct due diligence on foreign bank accounts, the filing stated.