What Are Banking Crimes?

When one hears of “Banking Crimes,” the normal reaction may be to think that such crimes are committed only by bankers, companies that work in the banking industry, or by large companies that do huge banking transactions. This would be a mistake. Little known federal legislation such as the Bank Secrecy Act, (See 18 U.S.C. Section 1960) the Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989, the Reigle Community Development Act, the Comprehensive Thrift and Bank Fraud Prosecution and Taxpayer Recovery Act of 1990, were already in place long before the events of September 11, 2001 caused a serious paradigm shift in the area of federal regulation of money movement and banking. Since then, the Patriot Act and a raft of other federal measures makes the level of government intrusion into our financial transactions greater than ever.

There have for years been in place a series of federal statutes related to the reporting of large cash transactions. There are statutes that criminalize the receipt of $10,000 or more in US currency (or its equivalent) without filing a specific federal treasury form (Form 8300) providing detailed information about the transaction. It is not a defense that you did not know the form was required. Any “structuring” of payments so as to avoid the reporting requirement can be charged as a separate federal felony. For example, if you have an item for sale for a purchase price of $21,000, and you accept three equal cash payments of $7,000, spaced two weeks apart, you have “structured” the payments so as to never receive $10,000 or more at a single payment. You are still required to file the federal form.

If you withdraw $10,000 or more from a bank in cash, a federal transaction reporting form must be filed. If you transfer more than a $10,000 out of the country, by wire, a special form must be filed. There are other specific reporting requirements depending on the sort of transaction and of course there are exceptions within the statutes. If you transport $10,000 or more in US Currency or its equivalent out of the country physically, and fail to report it, you can be prosecuted, imprisoned, fined and the currency forfeited.

IRS Forms 4789, 8300, 8362 and others, appear to be reasonably simple and straightforward on their face. The use and the application of the law is very complex. Concepts of “structuring” can include the transfer of over $100,000 in a 12 month period, even where there is no criminal purpose involved. The definition of a “financial institution” can include telecommunications companies, boat dealers and many other companies that would not ordinarily be so described.

Contact A Banking Crimes Attorney

Providing false information for a federally insured loan is another area of bank fraud prosecution. It is complicated, and if a federal investigator comes to inquire, you should politely decline to discuss the matter until you have had the opportunity to meet with a federal court practitioner. Contact an Orlando federal criminal defense attorney at The Defense Group. Call 407-831-1956 or 352-742-9090 at once to schedule your initial Free Consultation.

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