The practice of structuring financial transactions involves breaking large quantities of money into several smaller amounts, in order to disguise the actual figures involved in the transactions. Structuring, also known as smurfing, is generally used to avoid reporting large transactions, which is required by banking laws. Structuring charges are often part of a larger investigation involving other illegal activities such as bookmaking, money laundering, or drug dealing. If you are accused of structuring, or any of the other related serious charges, contact our law offices.

Federal Laws

The Bank Secrecy Act requires the filing of a currency transaction report for transactions of more than $10,000. Structuring breaks lump sums into smaller amounts to avoid a currency transaction report, in an effort to launder illegally obtained money or to avoid tax implications. Financial institutions that suspect structuring and the intent to avoid banking regulations are required by law to file a suspicious activity report. Structuring is a federal offense, which can involve large fines and prison sentences if convicted.

31 USC ยง 5324 prohibits structuring activities or attempts to cause financial institutions to fail to file the required currency transaction reports. This includes the structuring of any transaction, either involving a single institution, or spreading it among several institutions. The rule also applies if reports filed during the transaction contain intentional misstatements of fact, or omissions of material facts. Structuring laws also apply to the importation and exportation of currency or other monetary instruments.

Structuring Financial Transaction Penalties

Structuring convictions can result in up to 5 years in federal prison for a first offense. There are enhanced penalties if the structuring is part of another violation of law, or if there is a pattern of structuring that involves over $100,000 in a 12 month span. The enhancement raises the maximum to 10 years in prison, and doubles all fines.

Contact our Law Offices

Our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients accused of complex financial crimes and a proven track record of successfully defending them against federal charges. Contact our law offices today to speak with knowledgable structuring financial transactions lawyers in Boston.

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