Federal regulations already require banks to submit a “Suspicious Activity Report” (SAR) when, “Transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more…” according to the handbook for the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council.
The banks are required to fill a certain number of SAR reports every month. This forces them to file SARs for perfectly legal actions (such as withdrawing cash).
If using the banks as snitches, by having them file SARs on bank customers withdrawing over $5,000 dollars cash wasn’t intrusive enough, now the feds are advocating that bankers actually call law enforcement themselves.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
The U.S. Justice Department’s criminal head said banks may need to go beyond filing suspicious activity reports when they encounter a risky customer.
“The vast majority of financial institutions file suspicious activity reports when they suspect that an account is connected to nefarious activity,” said assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell in a speech last Monday, according to prepared remarks.
“But, in appropriate cases, we encourage those institutions to consider whether to take more action: specifically, to alert law enforcement authorities about the problem.”
The remarks indicate that banks may be expected to do more than just file SARs, a responsibility that itself can be expensive and time-consuming.
Some banks already have close relationships with law enforcement, said Kevin Rosenberg, chair of Goldberg Lowenstein & Weatherwax LLP’s government investigation and white collar litigation group. Ms. Caldwell’s remarks “speak to moving forward in a more collaborative way,” said Mr. Rosenberg.
A tip-off from a bank about a suspicious customer could lead law enforcement to seize funds or start an investigation, Ms. Caldwell said.
Don’t think for a moment that the government won’t potentially utilize this as a means of simplifying the seizure of property from innocent people with zero due process.
Mac Slavo of SHFTplan.com writes:
“Do you need to withdraw cash to purchase a used car from a private seller? Or perhaps you are pulling out some emergency cash for a loved one.
Either one of these activities are now considered suspicious and if your cash withdrawal amounts to even a few thousand dollars your bank teller is under a legal requirement to alert officials about your suspected criminal activity. And before you argue that you can’t possibly be a suspect because you have done nothing wrong, consider that even being suspected of being a suspect is now enough to land you on a terrorist watchlist in America.”
In 2013, there was a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system. It authorized a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to government documents obtained by The Intercept.
In police state USA, you can potentially receive a visit from the police, be put on a terror watch list, or have your assets seized for doing nothing other than simply withdrawing your hard earned cash from the bank in which you chose to store your currency.
Let that sink in for a moment. All of that for trying to withdraw your own money from a bank!
It’s always for “our” safety… always about safety.
Just give up a little bit more freedom and exchange it for the warm fuzzy feeling of safety. Exactly how much more liberty must we give up before we finally achieve the ever elusive maximum security?
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, freethinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.