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#369891 - 06/06/05 08:11 PM To SAR or not to SAR...
mobdiaz Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 53
I have two situations in which I feel like I am defensively filing. I would really like to stop, but...

Situation # 1: Personal account customer that owns a minimarket. Brings in $20,000 in $20s and exchanges them for $100s. No problem with providing the info for the CTR. Stated he was going to stash the cash in a safe he has at home. Although his business account is not with us, branch staff is familiar with his business and feel that the cash volume is reasonable. If he wants to keep it at home that's his choice (and better than in a safe deposit box here). He reported it through the CTR for income purposes.

Situation # 2: Retired state employee brings in $40,000 in cash to open a CD. Says at his bank they wanted to charge him for the Manager's Check and he was offended. He shows us the withdrawal slip from another institution. Fills out the CTR no problem.

I am afraid I may be growing numb to all this cash because I see sooooooo much of it (I am in a high cash area). Any comments would be appreciated.

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#369892 - 06/06/05 08:16 PM Re: To SAR or not to SAR...
RR Joker Offline
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RR Joker
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 20,644
The Swamp
I would lean more towards filing on Situation #2 than I would on situation #1...however, you are in a much better position to know what is normal or not for your customers...evidently, that issue has been discussed with Situation #1 and you seem comfortable.

Situation #2, however, we have filed on several similar to that recently. However, our's did not come with a withdrawal slip! That would most likely make me much more comfortable with the legitimacy of the transaction.
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My opinion only. Not legal advice.

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#369893 - 06/06/05 08:21 PM Re: To SAR or not to SAR...
mobdiaz Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 53
Thanks joker. I just wonder how helpful this information is to law enforcement. I can't seem to identify what crime the customers would be committing.

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#369894 - 06/06/05 08:52 PM Re: To SAR or not to SAR...
Richard Insley Offline
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Richard Insley
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 10,007
Toano, VA
Quote:

I just wonder how helpful this information is to law enforcement. I can't seem to identify what crime the customers would be committing.



I couldn't agree more. You've investigated both incidents and obtained satisfactory explanations. The CTRs create DB entries that tie these customers to your bank. If they are ever under investigation, law enforcement will be in touch.
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#369895 - 06/06/05 10:43 PM Re: To SAR or not to SAR...
Princess Romeo Offline

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Princess Romeo
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 8,272
Where the heart is
You know - in the past I would agree that you have sufficient information to justify not filing a SAR, and I don't think we should be "like KGB" and filing out "party reports" on our fellow citizens.

BUT even though FinCEN does not want defensive SAR filings, that message has NOT reached the field examiners who are going after this stuff with gusto.

It doesn't help that the FBI is out there saying "We don't care if the SARs are defensive or not, we want more!" (See most recent issue of ABA's Money Laundering and Terrorism update.)

You wanna hear something sad? We investigated "unusual" activity for one of our clients and found satisfactory and supportable explanations. Didn't matter, and the account got written up by our examiner.

The sad part? We made a Community Development loan to this customer!!!!!!!!

(Okay - so providing employment in a federal Empowerment Zone is a BAD thing now?)
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Regulations are a poor substitute for ethics.
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