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The Government is Upping It's Game: Suspicious Activity Reporting

** This is the fourth blog entry in a series - All You Need to Know about the Government & Asset Forfeiture**

Not only has the DOJ increased personnel, they have increased specialized personnel specifically trained in the use of federal forfeiture statutes to obtain citizen property. In fact, U.S. Attorneys have requested and received funding for task forces dedicated to the forfeiture of assets identified by financial institutions in record called Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).

SARs are disclosures required by the Patriot Act which mandate that banking institutions know their customers and report suspicious activity to the Department of Treasury. This means that, in effect, the government has deputized and required tellers and bank executives to be the first line of defense in combatting tax evasion, money laundering and fraud. What is the first thing bank tellers look for? Cash deposits in amounts of less than $10,000 are usually the first start to tipping off a bank employee.

Once a bank deems an action as suspicious, it is required to make a SAR. Once these reports are made, they are often reviewed by federal agents and Assistant U.S. Attorneys specifically dedicated to evaluating the potential for asset seizures and federal prosecutions. Under these initiatives billions of dollars from private bank accounts have been seized and forfeited to the federal government.

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