Currency Transaction Reports and Associated Violations

Wondering if a certain amount of money that is deposited or withdrawn in one transaction will pique the interest of the IRS or any federal law enforcement agency? The answer is yes, and the magic number here is more than $10,000. Customers of banks or other financial institutions will automatically trigger a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) for transactions that go above this threshold. A report will be sent to the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

The main purpose of these reports is to prevent illegal activity such as money laundering, organized crime operations, and financing of terrorism. These reports apply to legal tender recognized by other countries, such as foreign bank notes, and negotiable instruments used within the U.S., such as Federal Reserve notes. 

Procedure for Sending Currency Transaction Reports

Somewhat of a Catch-22 exists for customers of financial institutions when initiating a transaction that involves more than $10,000. Customers are not required to be automatically informed of the CTR requirements unless they ask. However, if a customer wishes to abort the transaction after attempting it and asking about the threshold, then the institution employee must mark the transaction with a Suspicious Activity Referral. This checkbox may be filled out after any situation in which an employee suspects a fraudulent transaction has occurred. 


An attempt to avoid the $10,000 is made by making multiple transactions under that amount will be reviewed with suspicion and may be considered “structuring” which is a crime.

Contact Us

The PATRIOT Act gave federal bureaus, such as FinCEN, greater authority to investigate suspicious financial activity. Even if your recent financial transactions stemmed from nothing illegal or illicit, there is a chance the amount and overall nature of your currency transactions could be flagged and you could be facing an investigation. A conviction for structuring could land you in prison for up to a decade, depending on the total amount you deposit.

Weisberg Kainen Mark, P.L. can help you in this situation and others involving alleged illegal financial practices. Call us at (305) 374-5544 to get started with experienced and sophisticated legal guidance. 

The following two tabs change content below.

Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

As experienced trial lawyers with a passion for justice, our firm provides clients with compelling advocacy, attorney availability, and creative solutions to your tax or criminal law matters.

Latest posts by Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL (see all)