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Weekly word: structuring

September 8, 2010

Paul Freeman, an anti-money laundering investigator and educator, defines structuring as “the act of altering a financial transaction to avoid a reporting requirement.”

Criminals in the U.S. know that money services businesses are required to report transactions under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) if those transactions occur in a specific manner above a specific amount of money.  So they structure their transactions to fall just under the amount that would trigger a filing.

FinCEN created a 15 minute video about the BSA.  The middle five minutes are especially useful for the examples they include about structuring:

If an MSB suspects that a customer is engaging in structuring, they need to file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR).  But when you have hawaladars who are in bed with their customers to avoid all reporting requirements, there’s only so much FinCEN can do…

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2 comments

  1. Thank you very much my friend, you are very kind in sharing this useful information with? others…. The details were such a blessing, thanks.


  2. […] sympathizers are also structuring their bank transactions—a classic money laundering technique—in small enough increments […]



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