South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney: Crime of Money Structuring

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3rd Apr 2018

A South Florida criminal defense attorney may be contacted to help defend a person accused of a federal or state crime such as money structuring.  A South Florida criminal defense attorney can discuss the background of this type of criminal charge and answer any questions that you have about this type of case, such as:

What Is Money Structuring?

Money structuring is a white collar crime that is committed when someone has deposited money into a financial institution to avoid bank reporting requirements.  A Currency Transaction Report is required when someone makes a deposit of more than $10,000, based on the Bank Secrecy Act.  The policy that supports this requirement is that the government must be given this information in order to monitor certain financial transactions that may be indicative of crimes, such as drug trafficking, money laundering, tax evasion or illegal gambling.  Money structuring occurs when there are smaller bank deposits that are made instead of the larger transaction that would trigger this report.  Also, it occurs when a person is attempting to avoid the reporting requirement.

What Are the Penalties for Money Structuring?

Being convicted of money structuring can result in up to five years imprisonment in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  Additionally, a defendant may be required to pay a fine and give up their assets through forfeiture.

What Are the Defenses to Money Structuring?

Every criminal case is different and different defenses may apply.  One common defense is that the deposits were made for convenience or otherwise not intended to avoid the reporting requirement.  If a person was not aware of the need for a report and had no reason to try to avoid it, this defense may be lodged.  In the case of a business transaction, there may be policies in place not to keep a large sum of money on hand at any point.  The smaller deposits could have been made for safety purposes rather than any attempt to hide the source of funds.