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#2007333 - 04/10/15 02:21 PM Cash in Safe Deposit Box
crazed Offline
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We have had to drill a safe deposit box for abandonment and inside we found $53,000 in cash. Do we need to complete a CTR or SAR, or simply just turn it over to the State?

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#2007343 - 04/10/15 02:48 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box crazed
JacF Offline

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No CTR because you have no transaction.

The accumulation of cash, in and of itself, is perfectly legal. So finding a pile of cash is not going to trigger a SAR by itself.

That said, it is appropriate to do a review of the circumstances, including the customer's transaciton history (if the box holder also maintained deposit accounts), and any information you can ascertain about the circumstances of the abandonment of the box. Then base your SAR determination on the entirety of the story.

When/how you turn the property over to the state will be determined by your state's abandoned property laws.

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#2007368 - 04/10/15 03:43 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box crazed
Elwood P. Dowd Offline
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If it's not too late, do not comingle the bills with your other cash; keep them in the box where you keep other abandoned property, at least temporarily. If you do the research JACFSB suggested, the bills may be able to tell a story of their own.
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#2007568 - 04/11/15 05:29 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box Elwood P. Dowd
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What Ken said; some of those bills/coins may be worth more than their face value (even if only in the mind of the absent box owner or his/her heirs). Co-mingling or turning the $$ into a Cashier's Check could become very painful if someone attempts to claim the box contents down the road.
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#2007690 - 04/13/15 06:13 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box crazed
KeepCalm Offline
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I would reach out to FinCen on this, we hade a similar situation (13k in cash) and they informed us to file a CTR. The customer later claimed the money and we in return had to file another CTR.
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#2007716 - 04/13/15 07:09 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box crazed
ACBbank Offline
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^ The advice that the FinCEN personnel who answer the Helpline give continues to amaze me.
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#2007731 - 04/13/15 07:46 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box crazed
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Agreed. I get the impression that they are simply trained to encourage filing, regardless of the question.

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#2007823 - 04/14/15 12:47 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box crazed
KeepCalm Offline
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The reasoning they gave was that it was foreign cash coming into the system "so it needs to be reported on"..makes sense (I guess), but I see where you all are coming from.
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#2007826 - 04/14/15 12:52 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box KeepCalm
Elwood P. Dowd Offline
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There is always less danger in telling someone they must do something than there is in saying it's not necessary...
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#2007838 - 04/14/15 01:15 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box crazed
edAudit Offline
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so what account had suspicious transactions in it and when?
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#2007880 - 04/14/15 02:15 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box ACBbank
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Originally Posted By ACBbank
^ The advice that the FinCEN personnel who answer the Helpline give continues to amaze me.


I had FinCEN tell me I had to file a CTR on a customer who had their debit card stolen & money withdrawn from an ATM in Mexico. They made me file the CTR on the customer even though we knew they did not benefit from the cash.
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#2007891 - 04/14/15 02:40 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box KeepCalm
JacF Offline

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Originally Posted By ActionStation
The reasoning they gave was that it was foreign cash coming into the system "so it needs to be reported on"..makes sense (I guess), but I see where you all are coming from.

If I understand correctly, it sounds like when you find cash in an abandoned box, that you are crediting that cash to some kind of general ledger or bank owned account?

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#2007896 - 04/14/15 02:46 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box crazed
KeepCalm Offline
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Yes it was into a general ledger account, then once he came in, they pulled the money back out of the account triggering the second CTR.

Kind of a unique situation, interesting to learn that it happened at another bank smile
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#2008036 - 04/14/15 06:32 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box crazed
JacF Offline

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That completely changes the dynamics on the CTR question. In your scenario, you are transacting in cash, and a CTR would be appropriate. But I would suggest that it was not the best way to handle the inventory.

By crediting the cash to a GL account, you are causing the bank to take those funds into its ownership, which should not be done. They are not funds on deposit, and they are not assets of the bank.

Typically, when a safe deposit box is abandoned and drilled, the contents of the box are inventoried, sealed, and secured in their entirety and in their extant form. The only time cash should be converted is in preparation for escheat.

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#2008046 - 04/14/15 06:51 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box crazed
rlcarey Online
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I agree, Your external accountants would most likely not be too pleased with your process for the reasons JacSB indicates.
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#2008059 - 04/14/15 07:21 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box WonderWoman
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Originally Posted By WonderWoman
Originally Posted By ACBbank
^ The advice that the FinCEN personnel who answer the Helpline give continues to amaze me.


I had FinCEN tell me I had to file a CTR on a customer who had their debit card stolen & money withdrawn from an ATM in Mexico. They made me file the CTR on the customer even though we knew they did not benefit from the cash.


Head.DESK.THUMP!

That is a true WTH moment.
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#2008098 - 04/14/15 08:18 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box JacF
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Originally Posted By JacFSB
That completely changes the dynamics on the CTR question. In your scenario, you are transacting in cash, and a CTR would be appropriate. But I would suggest that it was not the best way to handle the inventory.

By crediting the cash to a GL account, you are causing the bank to take those funds into its ownership, which should not be done. They are not funds on deposit, and they are not assets of the bank.

Typically, when a safe deposit box is abandoned and drilled, the contents of the box are inventoried, sealed, and secured in their entirety and in their extant form. The only time cash should be converted is in preparation for escheat.


Exactly this!

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#2008201 - 04/15/15 02:49 PM Re: Cash in Safe Deposit Box crazed
banker1976 Offline
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To share a story...back when I was a teller in the late 1990s, we had a lady in her early 90s always put cash in her safe deposit box. She had the biggest box size, and eventually got another box of the same size. She would withdrawal cash, redeem CD's, savings bonds and the like and put all her cash in the boxes; stating that she didn't want her children to have to pay taxes on their inheritance.

She passed away a couple of years later. I still worked for the same bank, but a different branch, and had heard that her son came in (joint owner of the boxes) and emptied the cash from both boxes into a large briefcase - over $150,000 cash - and took it home.
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