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Federal Statutes - Money Laundering

Internal Revenue Code

IRS has investigative jurisdiction for criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Title 26 of the United States Code. The IRC, Section 61(a) defines gross income as ". . . all income from whatever source derived." This has been held by the courts to include income earned from illegal activities such as drug trafficking, embezzlement, extortion, healthcare fraud, bankruptcy fraud and numerous other crimes. The primary criminal statutes include evasion of income tax, false income tax returns, and failure to file tax returns, among others.

Additionally, IRC, Section 6050 I, requires anyone involved in a trade or business, except financial institutions, to report currency received for goods or services in excess of $10,000 on a Form 8300. This requirement has created a significant impediment to the use of illicit profits by narcotics traffickers and others engaged in illegal activity for the purchase of luxury items such as vehicles, jewelry and boats. Financial institutions report similar information on a Currency Transaction Report.

Federal Statutes and Acts Passed by Congress

Title 31, USC Section 5331 – was passed in 2001 as a result of the USA Patriot Act and duplicates the reporting provisions of IRC, Section 6050I (Form 8300). Dual reporting of this information will now be made to both the IRS and the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Title 31 USC Section 5332 –Also as a result of the USA Patriot Act was the passage of Title 31 USC 5332, Bulk Cash Statute. Criminal Investigation has jurisdiction to investigate violations of this statute. This affects anyone who transports or attempts to transport currency or other monetary instruments of more than $10,000, from a place within the United States to a place outside of the United States, or from a place outside the United States to a place within the United States, and knowingly conceals it with the intent to evade the reporting requirements of 31 USC 5316. 

Title 18 USC Section 1960 – IRS has the jurisdiction to investigate violations under Title 18 USC 1960 which requires Money Service Businesses to be registered with the Federal Government.

Bank Secrecy Act – The Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act, Public Law No. 91-508, Title II, along with financial institution record-keeping requirements, became known as the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). The BSA mandates the reporting of certain currency transactions conducted with a financial institution, (Form 4789), the disclosure of foreign bank accounts (TD F 90-22.1), and the reporting of the transportation of currency exceeding $10,000 across United States borders (Form 4790).

Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 – Criminal Investigation investigates and recommends criminal prosecution for violations of Title 18, USC, Sections 1956 and 1957. These statutes make it illegal to conduct certain financial transactions with proceeds generated through specified unlawful activities, such as narcotics trafficking, Medicare fraud and embezzlement, among others.

Asset Forfeiture – The asset forfeiture program is one of the federal government’s most effective tools against drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime. In conjunction with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, Criminal Investigation uses asset forfeiture statutes to dismantle criminal enterprises by seizing and forfeiting their assets. Most of Criminal Investigation's seizures and forfeitures are the result of Title 18 and Title 31 money laundering and currency investigations. 


Table of Contents - Money Laundering

Criminal Investigation (CI)

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 12-Feb-2014