Criminal Defense Attorney in Miami Dade: What Is Money Structuring?

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29th Mar 2016

The initial task of a criminal defense attorney in Miami Dade after being retained by a defendant is to explain the nature of the charges against a person.  Money structuring is a confusing charge that may surprise many people due to its ability to punish someone simply for the way that they conduct their banking.  A criminal defense attorney in Miami Dade can help outline the offense, the prosecution’s burden in proving the case and potential defenses to this charge.

Money structuring is a white collar crime that alleges that a person structures his or her deposits in a deceitful way.  Banks are required to document transactions that consist of one deposit in excess of $10,000 by completing a Currency Transaction Report, as required by federal law.  This requirement allows the government to keep tabs on financial transactions and on individuals who may be attempting to launder illegally-obtained funds.  Money structuring occurs when a person splits a large deposit of this nature into several smaller ones in order to bypass the reporting requirement.

The crux of a successful prosecution relies on the government being able to show that the reason behind smaller deposits is specifically to avoid the reporting requirement.  There may be several innocent reasons for why someone would make smaller deposits instead of larger ones, such as not wanting to walk away with large amounts of funds at one time due to safety concerns or simply placing the deposit as the funds are received.  A criminal defense attorney can help identify holes in the prosecution’s case that support the defendant’s version of events.  For example, if the defendant didn’t even know about the reporting requirement, he or she obviously did not complete banking activity in a certain way to avoid such an unknown requirement.