by Dave Hodges, The Common Sense Show:
I recently received the following email. It represents dozens, if not hundreds like this one going back over the past several months.
I read your articles and listen to your show everyday. So does my son and he says your financial guests are almost always correct. My son works on Wall Street and is very successful. He does say that it is coming to an end soon in his opinion. Do you agree and what should I do?……My son says some of the same things that you have said and would you mind very much restating and please add anything new?
I know the economy is in grave danger. However, I have no knowledge beyond this. If you are thinking about removing your money from the bank before you lose it, there are some things that you need to know if you want to avoid going to jail.
The Most Requested Subject In the History of The Common Sense Show
I have been inundated with requests for more information on how to get your money out of the bank. If you think your money is safe while sitting in the bank, you desperately need to do some investigation. S&P has already downgraded the 8 major banks in the United States. They are already in a lot of trouble and it is getting worse.
There is no doubt that anyone who leaves all of their money in the bank needs their head examined. However, if you walk up to your “friendly” teller and ask to withdraw all, or most, of your money, you will either be shown the door and/or arrested for violating federal banking laws. Yes, it is now a crime to take your own money out of your own bank account, just ask former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert who has been indicted, convicted, until recently for taking HIS money out of HIS bank account. Here is what you need to know.
Times Have Changed
Taking what was your money out of the bank is no longer a matter of walking up to your friendly teller with a withdrawal slip and the teller cheerfully honors your request and you calmly exit the bank with your money in tow. In fact, your teller is trained to look for certain indicators in any cash withdrawal of any significance.
As you move to withdraw the bulk of your money, there are three federal banking laws that you should be cognizant of, namely, Cash Transaction Report (CTR), a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) and structuring. Before proceeding with the planed withdrawal of your money, I would strongly suggest that you read the following federal guidelines as it relates to CTR’s as produced by the The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). All the federal regulations contained in this article are elucidated in this series of federal reports.
Before withdrawing your money, please be aware of these three regulations related to getting your money out of the bank.
Federal law requires that the bank file a report based upon any withdrawal or deposit of $10,000 or more on any single given day.The law was designed to put a damper on money laundering, sophisticated counterfeiting and other federal crimes.
To remain in compliance with the law, financial institutions must obtain personal identification, information about the transaction and the social security number of the person conducting the transaction.
Technically, there is no federal law prohibiting the use of large amounts of cash. However, a CTR must be filed in ALL cases of cash transaction regardless of the reason underlying the transaction. This means your cash transaction will be on the radar.
Structuring and SAR
There will undoubtedly be some geniuses whose math ability will tell them that all they have to do is to withdraw $9,999.99 and the bank and its protector, the federal government will be none the wiser. It is not quite that simple. Here are a few examples of structuring violations that one should be aware of:
1. Barry S. has obtained $15,000 in cash he obtained from selling his truck. He knows that if he deposits $15,000 in cash, his financial institution will be required to file a CTR. Instead he deposits $7,500 in cash in the morning with one financial institution employee and comes back to the financial institution later in the day to another employee to deposit the remaining $7,500, hoping to evade the CTR reporting requirement. Barry should have used multiple accounts to conduct this transaction.
2. Hillary C. needs $16,000 in cash to pay for supplies for her arts and crafts business. Hillary cashes an $8,000 personal check at a financial institution on a Monday. She subsequently cashes another $8,000 personal check at the bank the following day. Hillary is careful to have cashed the two checks on different days and structured the transactions in an attempt to evade the CTR reporting requirement. Hillary should have made irregular deposits on staggered days covering a significant period of time. Or better, yet she should convert her soon worthless cash to precious metals.
3. A married couple, Bill and Hillary, sell a vehicle for $12,000 in cash. To evade the CTR reporting requirement, Bill and Hillary structure their transactions using different accounts. Bill deposits $8,000 of that money into his and Hillary’s joint account in the morning. Later that day, Hillary deposits $1,500 into the joint account, then $2,500 into her sister’s account, which is later transferred to Bill and Hillary’s joint account at the same bank. Again, Bill and Hillary should have used multiple banks.
The aggregate total of the three transactions totals more than the $10,000 threshold, therefore, a SAR would be filed by the bank and you would be the subject of a federal investigation as all three of the above cases clearly violate the federal banking laws related to structuring. It is a federal crime to break up transactions into smaller amounts for the purpose of evading the CTR reporting requirement. In these instances, the bank is required to file a SAR which serves to notify the federal government of an individual’s attempt to structure deposits or withdrawals by circumventing the $10,000 reporting requirement.
Structuring transactions to prevent a CTR from being reported can result in imprisonment for not more than five years and/or a fine of up to $250,000. If structuring involves more than $100,000 in a twelve month period or is performed while violating another law of the federal government, the penalty is doubled. This is what former Speaker of the House, Dennnis Hastert is facing.
Much like the enforcement of our tax laws, the federal government’s enforcement of its banking laws as it relates to CTR’s, SAR’s and subsequent structuring is quite draconian. Civilian asset forfeiture laws come into play. The government can seize your bank accounts while it determines if a crime has been committed. The government can literally seize your assets in perpetuity without an order of the court. Of course, you could try and sue but you will be up against the deep pockets of the federal government and the case could take years. By the time your case is decided, the financial banking crisis that you are so desperately trying to avoid by withdrawing your money, could be over. So, proceed with caution.