McCracken’s case may have been largely circumstantial, but she did an effective job of portraying Anaya as a man who enjoyed the perks of drug trafficking. She spoke of his “expensive motorcycles and four-wheel bikes to go on the sand,” his collection of guns, and his vast array of Snap-on tools. On several occasions, she mentioned that he had a backyard pool “custom built with his name in the bottom of it in marble.”
Anaya’s lawyer tried to explain that all of these supposed extravagances had been bought on credit and that his client was on the brink of bankruptcy. The name by his pool—not in it, as McCracken had claimed—was an $8 DIY project hacked together from grinding concrete and artfully applied stain. But the jury bought into McCracken’s narrative; it convicted Anaya on all counts.
koeselitz: I mean, where in the world are you going to draw the line here? Are you going to convict the Cadillac dealers who must have known something wrong was happening when a customer walked up and paid cash for a brand new car? Are you going to convict real estate agents who certainly have some suspicions when people buy or rent apartments or houses the same way?
In an attempt to prevent dirty money from entering the US financial system in the first place, the United States Congress passed a series of laws, starting in 1970, collectively known as the Bank Secrecy Act. These laws, contained in sections 5311 through 5332 of Title 31 of the United States Code, require financial institutions, which under the current definition include a broad array of entities, including banks, credit card companies, life insurers, money service businesses and broker-dealers in securities, to report certain transactions to the United States Treasury. Cash transactions in excess of US$10,000 must be reported on a currency transaction report (CTR), identifying the individual making the transaction as well as the source of the cash. The US is one of the few countries in the world to require reporting of all cash transactions over a certain limit, although certain businesses can be exempt from the requirement. Additionally, financial institutions must report transaction on a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) that they deem "suspicious", defined as a knowing or suspecting that the funds come from illegal activity or disguise funds from illegal activity, that it is structured to evade BSA requirements or appears to serve no known business or apparent lawful purpose; or that the institution is being used to facilitate criminal activity. Attempts by customers to circumvent the BSA, generally by structuring cash deposits to amounts lower than US$10,000 by breaking them up and depositing them on different days or at different locations also violates the law.
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