The story recounts how IRS Agents determined that a grocery store was running a criminal enterprise because a TRM/CTR report was filed by the bank.
See, the bank has an obligation to report suspicious activity to the government. One thing that will trigger an automatic report is if an individual conducts a transaction involving more than $10,000 cash changing hands between the customer and teller (a CTR). However, fully aware that people will attempt to avoid this automatically triggered reporting by making smaller deposits, the law also provides for a supplemental report (a TRM) that bank employees are supposed to file if it appears that people are structuring transactions. The problem is that – in this case – the government overreached as the result of activity that appeared suspicious, but actually had a legitimate cause:
“Because 35 percent of Schott’s Supermarket’s receipts are in cash, Terry and Sandy make frequent trips to the bank to avoid tempting actual criminals by having large sums at the store. Besides, their insurance policy covers no cash loss in excess of $10,000.”
This is what happens when Anti-money-laundering measures give the IRS awesome power – innocent Americans get caught in the crossfire.
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