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Paying Cash United States

The approach in the United States to stopping money laundering is usefully broken into two areas: preventive (regulatory) measures and criminal measures. In the State of florida since 2005 Cash Transactions have become increasingly popular as overseas and domestic investors take advantage of low purchase costs and strong returns.  Cash is a common and popular option for the purchase of Property but like the rest of the world Cash comes under scrutiny

Preventive

In an attempt to prevent dirty money from entering the US financial system in the first place, the United States Congress passed a series of laws, starting in 1970, collectively known as the Bank Secrecy Act. These laws, contained in sections 5311 through 5332 of Title 31 of the United States Code, require financial institutions, which under the current definition include a broad array of entities, including banks, credit card companies, life insurers, money service businesses and broker-dealers in securities, to report certain transactions to the United States Treasury. Cash transactions in excess of $10,000 must be reported on a currency transaction report (CTR), identifying the individual making the transaction as well as the source of the cash. The US is one of the few countries in the world to require reporting of all cash transactions over a certain limit, although certain businesses can be exempt from the requirement. Additionally, financial institutions must report transaction on a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) that they deem “suspicious,” defined as a knowing or suspecting that the funds come from illegal activity or disguise funds from illegal activity, that it is structured to evade BSA requirements or appears to serve no known business or apparent lawful purpose; or that the institution is being used to facilitate criminal activity. Attempts by customers to circumvent the BSA, generally by structuring cash deposits to amounts lower than $10,000 by breaking them up and depositing them on different days or at different locations also violates the law.

The financial database created by these reports is administered by the U.S.’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), called the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which is located in Vienna, Virginia. These reports are made available to US criminal investigators, as well as other FIU’s around the globe, and FinCEN will conduct computer assisted analyses of these reports to determine trends and refer investigations.

The BSA requires financial institutions to engage in customer due diligence, which is sometimes known in the parlance as “know your customer.” This includes obtaining satisfactory identification to give assurance that the account is in the customer’s true name, and having an understanding of the expected nature and source of the money that will flow through the customer's accounts. Other classes of customers, such as those with private banking accounts and those of foreign government officials, are subjected to enhanced due diligence because the law deems that those types of accounts are a higher risk for money laundering. All accounts are subject to ongoing monitoring, in which internal bank software scrutinizes transactions and flags for manual inspection those that fall outside certain parameters. If a manual inspection reveals that the transaction is suspicious, the institution should file aSuspicious Activity Report.

The regulators of the industries involved are responsible to ensure that the financial institutions comply with the BSA. For example, the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency regularly inspect banks, and may impose civil fines or refer matters for criminal prosecution for non-compliance. A number of banks have been fined and prosecuted for failure to comply with the BSA. Most famously, Riggs Bank, in Washington D.C., was prosecuted and functionally driven out of business as a result of its failure to apply proper money laundering controls, particularly as it related to foreign political figures.

In addition to the BSA, the U.S. imposes controls on the movement of currency across its borders, requiring individuals to report the transportation of cash in excess of $10,000 on a form called Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments (known as a CMIR). Likewise, businesses, such as automobile dealerships, that receive cash in excess of $10,000 must likewise file a Form 8300 with the Internal Revenue Service, identifying the source of the cash.

On 1 September 2010, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued an advisory on "informal value transfer systems" referencing United States v. Banki.


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