COMMENT: Dear Martin,
I would like to share any information on the subject “The Hunt for Taxes and the Abolition of Cash” that you comment on so often:
Citi closes accounts of customers who withdraw cash instead of using credit cards The Peruvian author and journalist Jaime Bayly, who lives in Florida, comments political and arts issues in his daily TV show. Recently, he mentioned that the Miami subsidiary of Citi bank closed all his accounts because he withdraws too much cash from his account instead of using his credit card to pay his expenditures. His objection that he prefers to use cash for personal reasons was countered by the bank that he is suspicious of money laundering!
Thank you so much for your work and for maintaining a blog that I review daily with great interest,
REPLY: What people do not realize is that the regulations being imposed upon banks all to hunt for taxes are rarely ever discussed in mainstream media. Effectively, the government has put all banks in a position where THEY must be the judge, jury, and prosecutor whereas the government could NEVER impose such restrictions upon individuals without a Constitutional violation of Due Process of law. They force banks to be the police because you are NOT entitled to Constitutional Due Process of law when it is not a LEGAL proceeding that could result in the confiscation of your property or imprisonment. Like FATCA, they imposed regulations upon foreign banks that they MUST report WHATEVER an American does overseas and if they own more than 5% of any company they must report them to the USA or their assets will be confiscated. This is outright unethical, but no court will uphold the Constitution. If the government can threaten a bank to do what they cannot do directly, they argue they are not the party violating your rights!
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) lists 30 some business categories that have been linked to “high-risk activity,” including marijuana dealers, gun sellers, home-based charities, payday loans, dating services, escort services, fireworks suppliers, cable box de-scramblers, coin dealers, credit card repair services, gaming and gambling websites, and telemarketing companies. The coin dealers they deal are selling people things off-the-grid and gun dealers because they may be helping to arm you against the government.
Then there was the pornography industry that Michael Avenatti allegedly just usurped Stormy Daniels to become famous in suing Trump in hopes of running for president himself. It was reported that Chase closed hundreds of porn stars accounts with no explanation whatsoever. Chase bank merely sent out letters to porn industry workers revealing the accounts would be closed the following month. The letters offered no reason for the closure and just made a non-sincere apology for the inconvenience.
Banks now do background checks and continue to monitor all transactions that are made once the account is open. The FDIC also recommends that banks look at the volume and nature of consumer complaints filed on websites like the Better Business Bureau. A company that has a large number of returns or charge-backs due to customer dissatisfaction can find themselves out of business unable to even have a bank account. Another red flag is certainly cash deposits or withdraws can easily find themselves booted out of the bank.
For personal accounts, there’s a whole other set of warning signs that banks are required to look for. Chief of the list is no record of current or past employment but make frequent, large transactions, you don’t live or work anywhere near the city or state where you’ve opened an account. You do not have a valid phone number. Then there is the usual issue of a chronic overdrafters who banks will get rid of quickly.
They will also monitor your account for any sudden surge in account activity. They will also flag multiple round-number transactions like $50,000 or deposits just under $10,000. Even constant visits to safe deposit boxes send a RED FLAG THAT YOU ARE USING IT TO HIDE CASH. They will also monitor big purchases of precious metals or fine art. They view that as taking money off the grid.
Effectively, your bank reserves the right to shut your account at any time, for any reason. They are doing so because they are fined if you do something. Hence, Congress has turned banks against their own clients compelling them to be judge, jury, and prosecutor. They will close your account and report you to the government on the drop of a dime or even a penny.