While slaving away for "The Man," alert reader John Thomas warned me that FinCEN's black ops storm troopers are hot on my trail and to run for cover before they scooped me up and waterboarded me, not for any useful information I might cough up but just for the sheer pleasure of watching me drown.
Funnel account activity was the standout trend in Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) filings in 2014, according to the latest report from the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
FinCEN’s second annual SAR Stats, published Wednesday, highlights how FinCEN uses SARs to track down criminals through their use of the financial system. It was based on SARs filed from March 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2014.
FinCEN defines a funnel account as an account that receives multiple cash deposits, often in amounts below the cash-reporting threshold, and from which funds are withdrawn in a different geographic area with little time between deposits and withdrawals.
According to FinCEN, funnel account activity was mentioned almost 10,000 times in SARs in 2014.The same references occurred no more than 123 times in 2012 and 2013.
While it eventually occurred to John that FinCEN had misspelled my name, I doubt that would have deterred them for long. Upon receiving that warning, I stopped the practice of making multiple cash deposits, and now make a cash deposit only when checks received total $9,999.99, which given my astoundingly low billable hourly rate and dearth of clients will mean that I am making deposits only twice a year. In addition, I have bribed FinCEN's pet goat, Elizabeth Maxine Waters-Warren, with a family concoction: funnel cake. I have thereby assured myself that any SAR with the name "funnel," "funnell," or "kevin" eventually will go the way of most SARs: into a compost heap.
Thanks for the heads up, John. You saved my bacon, or at least, my cabrito.