Cash Is “King” No More… It’s a Criminal Suspect

Thursday, April 9, 2015
By Paul Martin

By Clint Siegner
Thursday, 9 April 2015

Cash was king. These days, it’s more of a headache than royalty.

When it comes to larger purchases, the advantages once conferred by carrying a wad of green stuff in your wallet are all but gone. Justice Department officials in the U.S. (and officials elsewhere) are ratcheting up their decades-long war on cash.

To hear them tell it, cash is mostly useful for terrorists and low-down criminals. Your use of any significant amount of cash can now make you guilty in the eyes of the law until you prove the transaction was legitimate.

Maybe you can persuade your bank teller. Attempt to withdraw or deposit a few thousand dollars in cash, and you’ll likely get the chance. Expect questioning about the purpose of the cash. If you answer with “it isn’t any of your business” or something equally unsatisfactory, then you will be inviting her to file a Suspicious Activity Report. Banks and a select group of other businesses filed more than 1.6 million of them in 2013.

Or, the teller might decide to call the authorities right away. The head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Leslie Caldwell, would certainly like to see banks drop a dime on customers more often. While speaking at the ACAMS Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crime Conference on March 16th, she said:

“The vast majority of financial institutions file Suspicious Activity Reports when they suspect that an account is connected to nefarious activity. But, in appropriate cases, we encourage those institutions to consider whether to take more action: specifically, to alert law enforcement authorities about the problem, who may be able to seize the funds, initiate an investigation, or take other proactive steps.”

Caldwell’s statement hints at what is really an escalation of a decades-old policy of enlisting banks to rat out customers.

The Rest…HERE

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