On May 28, 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) issued an advisory warning banks that criminal organizations are using bank accounts to skirt restrictions on U.S. dollar deposits in Mexico. These accounts, known as “funnel accounts,” begin with criminal organizations hiring someone to open a U.S. bank account that can receive deposits in branches in multiple states.
Once the account is open, various deposits are made into the account in amounts low enough to avoid immediate detection. An intermediary then wires the money in that account to purchase goods, which are then shipped to foreign countries and sold – the profits therefrom going back to the Mexican criminal organizations. Often done within the blink of an eye.
Arizona is on the front lines of this fight against money laundering and uses asset forfeiture as a means to combat the illicit flow of criminal proceeds.
Photo courtesy of www.TaxRebate.org.uk
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