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#2036980 - 09/02/15 10:50 PM Combine transactions
Bec Offline
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A customer deposits cash over $10,000 into their checking account and a small cash deposit into their son's checking account. The next day the customer wires money internationally for the same amount as the cash they deposited into their account. The same day of this wire, the son also deposits $8000 cash into his checking account and wires the same amount internationally to the same beneficiary the father wired to. In this situation, would you file two separate SAR reports or would you combine them? My thought is to combine them since they seem very much entangled.
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#2036982 - 09/02/15 11:04 PM Re: Combine transactions Bec
Elwood P. Dowd Offline
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It's only when the two transactions are considered together that there is any basis for suspicion; one SAR.
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#2037016 - 09/03/15 10:40 AM Re: Combine transactions Bec
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Is it illegal to send 2 international wire transfers to the same beneficiary from 2 separate individuals?

I would need a lot more info prior to filing a SAR considering the first transaction would have required a CTR and the second does not show amounts over $10,000 so there would be no structure.

I agree with Ken if it is suspicious (and considered 1 transaction) 1 SAR but at this point I see no basis for a SAR
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#2037097 - 09/03/15 03:28 PM Re: Combine transactions Bec
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The transactions are not in line with the customer's general account activity and the cash deposits the same day are a concern.
I would agree that there was no structuring involved.
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#2037110 - 09/03/15 04:03 PM Re: Combine transactions Bec
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did anyone contact the customer? I would not like it if someone filed a SAR on me just because my son and I decided to help out a family member overseas or purchase property together... and decided to use cash as I do not wish to come to the bank twice due to perceived check float.
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#2037111 - 09/03/15 04:09 PM Re: Combine transactions Bec
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So we contact the customer and they tell us something to that nature. It still seems off to me though. Would you wait and see if it then happens again? Do you take the customer for their word? I understand that you don't want to be SAR happy, but this is the low hanging fruit that the regulators may trounce upon as it is out of line for the customer's expected behavior. Both Cash wise and WIre wise. But I guess you could also make an argument that it is isolated. Ugh this is certainly hard to navigate.
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#2037113 - 09/03/15 04:12 PM Re: Combine transactions Bec
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Not being rude, but who cares what the customer would "like" when it comes to SAR filing.

As Ken G. has always said, customers lie. Go with the facts as they appear to you and make your SAR decision. If that includes questioning the customer about it, go ahead, but what they tell you should not be given great weight in your decision.

It reminds me of a customer telling the bank that their insurance would not let their employee transport more than $10,000 and that is why he always deposited in increments $9,990. The bank asked him for a copy of his insurance policy - it never materialized and he quit doing it.
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#2037121 - 09/03/15 04:37 PM Re: Combine transactions Bec
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Yeah, the whole customer lying thing plays into the mindset for sure.
I know that we enjoy safe harbor for filing when there may have not been anything going on, however are we setting ourselves up to scrutiny to file on ALL international wire transfers that occur after a cash deposit?
We could argue that the situation is different because there are two parties and whatnot, but how does one protect themselves from that?
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#2037126 - 09/03/15 04:49 PM Re: Combine transactions rlcarey
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Not being rude, but who cares what the customer would "like" when it comes to SAR filing.


Actually I would always look for an investigation (even minimal) and some type of suspicious behavior prior to filing a SAR. If no investigation is required every transaction (or combination) over $10,000 would require a SAR.

A customer depositing over $10,000 and presumably filing a CTR and a different customer depositing $8,000 and both processing wires does not seem suspicious to me (you do not have any required reportable transaction that has been attempted to be avoided) it would however be a red flag. A simple ask the customer what he is doing or ask the person who took the transaction would be minimal and may avoid the need to file.

Filing of defensive SARs ( and now a required 90 day review) does no one any good.
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#2037128 - 09/03/15 04:51 PM Re: Combine transactions Bec
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Just to be clear - I never indicated that I would file a SAR in this situation.
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#2037195 - 09/03/15 07:41 PM Re: Combine transactions Bec
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Thank you all for our feedback on this.
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