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Feds Seize $841,883 from Used Car Dealer Accused of—Well, Nothing

Reza Ella, an Iranian-American who owns a car dealership in Albuquerque, New Mexico, may or may not be a criminal. Federal prosecutors don’t know or won't say. But last September, they seized $841,883 from Ella anyway because the man deposited it in increments of less than $10,000.

Anyone depositing more than $10,000 in the bank has to file a report with the Department of the Treasury—because terrorism/drugs. Making deposits of less than $10,000 so as to avoid filing said reports—called "structuring"—is illegal and can trigger asset forfeiture whether or not there is any underlying criminal activity.

From the Albuquerque Journal:

The federal complaint against Ella does not allege that he is involved in a criminal enterprise.

According to the forfeiture complaint, Ella and one of his employees made approximately 223 structured cash deposits totaling $1,728,722.21 ... between Sept. 19, 2011, and July 3, 2012.

Each deposit was less than $10,000....

Of the approximately 223 cash deposits, 37 were same-day deposits at two banks totaling over $10,000 per day.

On seven occasions, same-day deposits were made at three banks totaling over $10,000 per day, according to the complaint.

[Ella's lawyer] said that during the same time period covered by the complaint, Ella did sign currency transaction reports more than a dozen times.

...The complaint also brings up the last time he was targeted by federal agents.

“Ella had previously engaged in illegal structuring of cash transactions between 2005 and January 2007, Ella had structured cash withdrawals at Wells Fargo Bank. On February 23, 2007, the FBI executed warrants on two accounts at WFB held by Ella totaling $489,732.02.”

The complaint doesn’t mention that all but $12,000 of that money was returned to Ella.

...“They ambush you,” he said. “They don’t tell you they are seizing your bank accounts. You find out when checks are returned.

“You go to the bank and everyone stares at you. They think you’re crooked.”

The latest case, he said, has left him exhausted and his business suffering.

Yes, Ella has been charged with structuring before. You’d think he’d have taken this particular bit of paperwork more seriously. Then again, if the feds want to nail someone, and it sure looks like it here, no amount of law abiding will forestall prosecution.

I’m sympathetic to the claim that sometimes prosecutors have to rely on financial crimes to put away bad guys whose real crimes cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. But they’re not trying to put Ella in jail, and there isn't even an allegation that he's a bad guy. They’re just stealing his money.  

Ella's attorneys have requested a jury trial.

The complaint is below:

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons | AgnosticPreachersKid

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  • Anonymous Coward||

    First!

    Or does first not count on the weekends?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The U.S. government: We can't actually prove you've committed a crime, so we're just financially ruin you until we can.

    Don't worry though. You still have rights. The right to ask for permission and the right to obey orders.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    We can't actually prove you've committed a crime, so we're just financially ruin you going to make arbitrary laws until we can.

    FIFY

    That depositing cash in any form, no matter the amount, is illegal is insane.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Avoiding government paperwork is suspicious activity. If the government didn't force you to fill out forms, there would be anarchy.

  • Deep Lurker||

    More like "We don't like this 'presumption of innocence' business, so we're going to create reporting requirments that make you show that you aren't committing an actual crime. If you fail to make the proper reports, we will nail you for that 'crime.'"

    The fact that the government can steal the guy's money in this case is just a cherry on top of the sundae, from their point of view.

  • JimmyJohn||

    Exactly, the US is morphing into a police state, while the masses sleep.

  • CE||

    Ella and one of his employees made approximately 223 structured cash deposits totaling $1,728,722.21 ... between Sept. 19, 2011, and July 3, 2012.

    Just curious... did anyone check to see if he sold approximately 223 used cars during that time?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Is this a great country, or what?

  • Duke||

    I deposit less than $10,000 all the time. Sometimes the deposits are as small as $200. Will I be arrested for “structuring” too?

  • ||

    Only if the feds find more money in your pocket when they come around to check.

  • Sevo||

    Depends. Got enough (non-hidden) assets to make it worthwhile?
    If you do, why, simply step over here; we have the cuffs ready.

  • Paul.||

    I deposit less than $10,000 all the time. Sometimes the deposits are as small as $200. Will I be arrested for “structuring” too?

    Yes.

  • The Heresiarch||

    "I’m sympathetic to the claim that sometimes prosecutors have to rely on financial crimes to put away bad guys whose real crimes cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

    I'm not. You can't convict someone of a real crime? Too bad.

  • Sevo||

    ^!
    Yes.

  • Rich||

    sometimes prosecutors have to rely on financial crimes

    Can they also rely on so-called scandals?

  • John C. Randolph||

    Was just about to post the same comment. Hear, hear!

    -jcr

  • Nazdrakke||

    I'm not. You can't convict someone of a real crime? Too bad.

    This.

  • GPZsug||

    Absolutely. It's unfortunate that we have cause to to preface any crime with "real".

  • CE||

    It wasn't "theft" theft, it was structuring.

  • RBS||

    Damn, beat me by an hour.

  • West Texas||

    Amen. If you can't bust 'em for doing anything actually, you know, illegal, then too freaking bad.

    This is the same kind of logic that some people were grasping for in the Zimmerman case: But he's a bad guy and needs tio be punished. I can just tell. Surely we can find him guilty of something!!!

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I'm not either. The whole notion that complying with the law, to avoid the law, is suspicious needs to be jammed right up there asses with a red hot poker. Seriously, fuck them.

  • SIV||

    I’m sympathetic to the claim that sometimes prosecutors have to rely on financial crimes to put away bad guys whose real crimes cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt

    John K. Ross is a freelance writer and a former Reason intern.

    Cosmotarianism is an infectious disease and reason is a vector.

  • Copernicus||

    We the People, In order to deposit whatever the fuck we want, where ever the fuck we want, whenever the fuck we want. etc. etc.

    These are the "crimes" that really burn my butt. Something that should at most be a "flag" which could possibly trigger further investigation, which could possibly reveal some shenanigans, instead is a serious crime by itself, complete with the unwarranted seizing of shitloads of money.

    FUUUUUUUUKKKKKKK!

  • ||

    The USA is well on it's way towards solving the immigration problem. They are going to make damn sure that no one wants to come here. The next problem will be making sure that people can't leave. I hear that John McCain has a solution for that, it's part of the immigration 'reform' effort currently being undertaken by our enlightened ones.

  • Duke||

    The USA is well on it's way towards solving the immigration problem. They are going to make damn sure that no one wants to come here. The next problem will be making sure that people can't leave.

    This. So very this.

  • ||

    Hey, walls work both ways, as the Soviets showed us.

  • PapayaSF||

    No, they're making it so that nobody who makes money will want to come here. Welfare cases will continue to be welcomed.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Anyone depositing more than $10,000 in the bank has to file a report with the Department of the Treasury—because terrorism/drugs. Making deposits of less than $10,000 so as to avoid filing said reports—called "structuring"—is illegal and can trigger asset forfeiture whether or not there is any underlying criminal activity.

    How does this square with Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    ?

  • John C. Randolph||

    It's exempt under the FYTW clause of the special secret constitution that we proles don't get to read.

    -jcr

  • Rich||

    Making deposits of less than $10,000 so as to avoid filing said reports—called "structuring"—is illegal

    "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client simply feels uneasy carrying large sums of money. I'm certain every one of you appreciates -- indeed, respects -- such prudence."

  • John C. Randolph||

    The problem is that this won't get before a jury. The looters will simply ignore the fifth amendment and claim that they can rob us with "civil forfeiture".

    -jcr

  • np||

    Commerce Clause

  • The Heresiarch||

    So if you deposit more than $10,000 they can pop you for having a suspiciously large amount of cash. But if you deposit under $10,000, they can get you for "structuring." Heads I win, tails you lose.

  • robc||

    Anyone depositing more than $10,000 in the bank has to file a report

    Is this only cash or any 5 digit deposit? Because I have made plenty of large deposits and never had to fill out a report.

  • West Texas||

    Cash.

    Because electronic transactions can already be traced and alerted.

  • robc||

    I assumed so, but the wording didnt make that clear.

  • Willard McBain||

    read the definition of "cash", it's everything except a personal check.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Sounds like someone should have been making incremental deposits into the campaign war chests of some federal candidates.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Absent the fucking idiotic and useless character limit, I would cut and past from the Wiki entry pertaining to "excessive fines".

    Suffice to say, SCOTUS has as recently as 1998 recognized the concept of disproportionate fines.

    How is confiscation of this guy's bank balance not disproportionate to the "crime" of depositing less than ten grand in the bank?

  • ||

    "I’m sympathetic to the claim that sometimes prosecutors have to rely on financial crimes to put away bad guys whose real crimes cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

    Yah know what? I'm not. I think we're long past the point where easing the burden on prosecutors increases the good they do. And I remember all those well intended laws to help put away 'bad guys', like RICO, that once their targets were gone were turned on ordinary citizens.

    Fuck that - prove the damn crime or go away until you can.

  • John||

    Me either. I thought the exact same thing when I read that. It is okay to get some mobster on Mickey Mouse financial charge quickly becomes screw an innocent people to get convictions.

  • Sevo||

    ..."It is okay to get some mobster on Mickey Mouse financial charge quickly becomes screw an innocent people to get convictions."

    Exactly. At the risk of a godwin, they came for...

  • ||

    Maybe I'm missing something, but how do they know he made the deposits in this manner "so as to avoid filing said reports"?

    Also, look at the pic, he's clearly a terrorist.

  • ||

    Its not an 'intent crime'. The very fact that he made deposits of less than $10,000 when he clearly had enough money to deposit more than $10,000 is de-facto evidence that he intended to avoid filing the reports.

  • ||

    Well, that's fucking stupid.

  • ||

    Its the wave of the future. Mens Rea, a cornerstone of western legal tradition for damn near as long as there has been western law is being shoved out the door so prosecutors can have an easier job.

    Things you don't need mens rea for anymore:

    Drug possession
    Aiding "terrorist groups"
    Pretty much any financial crime, including insider trading
    DUI

  • ||

    Yeah, while I was still under the misimpression that "structuring" required intent, I thought to myself "Well, at least there's mens rea involved..."

    Ugh.

  • PapayaSF||

    The law may be stupid, but this sure looks like intent:

    Of the approximately 223 cash deposits, 37 were same-day deposits at two banks totaling over $10,000 per day. On seven occasions, same-day deposits were made at three banks totaling over $10,000 per day, according to the complaint.

    Especially for someone who has been caught at this before, this is idiotic.

  • ||

    Well, *this* guy may have had intent - but the law doesn't *require* it.

    And to be honest - *that* doesn't look like intent, it looks like a guy who sells a car and deposits the gross into the bank immediately so he doesn't have large amounts of cash lying around the office.

  • PapayaSF||

    What explains same-day deposits at multiple banks? That looks like "structuring," though admittedly, it's so stupid that it might be innocent. I mean, for someone who's already gotten into trouble for this to think that wouldn't be noticed is hard to believe.

  • ||

    It'a not a crime to bank at more than one bank. Actually for a business that needs favorable terms from a bank from time to time it's quite prudent. As a former used car dealer my self I promise you that if you have only one bank they will choke you down whenever it suits them to do so. Having more than one bank makes them compete for your business if you need short term loans, floor plan financing, or other normal bank services.

    It's real easy for a "buy here-pay here" type car operation to have the kind of deposits mentioned here without the owner being a multi-millionaire.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Probably.

    But it most definitely is a case of his banks ratting him out.

  • Sevo||

    OT:
    "Florida Prosecutor Indicted For Falsifying Arrest Warrant against George Zimmerman"
    "Florida State’s Attorney Angela Corey has been indicted by a citizens’ grand jury, convening in Ocala, Florida, over the alleged falsification of the arrest warrant and complaint..."
    Hadn't seen this and assuming it's true, I'm surprised it hasn't gotten some bandwidth here.
    Read more: http://conservativebyte.com/20.....z2aO3jdi7u

  • Dweebston||

    I would imagine this is why. Warning! Autoplay.

  • ||

    It's a citizens grand jury...so it's not a real thing. It's the equivalent of the commentariat here indicting someone. Thus, it's a non-story.

  • Sevo||

    Some call me Tim?| 7.28.13 @ 8:06PM |#
    "It's a citizens grand jury...so it's not a real thing..."

    Thx; should have searched it first. Apologies.

  • ||

    I actually posted a link to that sometime last week, albeit late at night; but I was told citizens' grand juries weren't worth much.

  • Sevo||

    Someone also just told me that; the prosecutor will blow it off.

  • General Butt Naked||

    First Citizens United now citizens' grand jury, these pesky citizens keep getting in the way of utopia.

    Can't anything be done, for the children?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Anybody who has multiple bank accounts is obviously some kind of economic terrorist bent on the destruction of the Federal reserve System.

  • Dweebston||

    The dealership is a few blocks away. I nearly prefaced my response with home-town bashing, but for once it's not New Mexico's fault. This is purely the feds.

    I tried explaining the problems I have with the Bank Secrecy Act to a coworker who at the time handled the company's CTRs. I ended up explaining the propensity for false positives and suggesting a more sinister reason than fighting crime: it's a prelude to stringent capital controls.

    She gave me a blank look and mumbled something noncommittal, and likely forgot it altogether. It's one of those stupid federal stunts that looks good on paper to nonpolitical spectators, and even the businesses tasked with maintaining it play nice, but for the minority of customers affected it's a truly onerous process.

  • ||

    She gave me a blank look and mumbled something noncommittal

    It didn't affect her.

    If you haven't been doing anything wrong, why worry? Government is all benevolent, they would never do bad things.

    You know, all this fuss about spying, and 4th amendments... bah, all over hyped exaggerations.

    /Sheep

  • wareagle||

    so at this point, is it safe to say that none of it is your money, that only through the benevolence of govt do you retain a portion of it.

  • RBS||

    Basically, because Fu... well you know why.

  • Sevo||

    It seems depositing more than $10K is "suspicious" and depositing less than $10K is equally "suspicious", so the mattress is looking as good as the coffee can in the back yard.

  • ||

    It's all suspicious. How much did you contribute to the Obama fund?

    Nothing? You're the enemy.

  • ||

    Did *you* wish Obama a happy birthday?

  • RBS||

    My state supreme court says not driving as fast as traffic on the interstate is a good reason to pull someone even if they aren't going above the max or below the minimum because drug traffickers are often cautious on the interstate.

  • cw||

    That's insane. Guilty until proven innocent.

    Sounds like the Justice-for-Trayvon crowd would like it.

  • ||

    My state supreme court says not driving as fast as traffic on the interstate is a good reason to pull someone

    Translation to Balmorese:

    If I'm not driving 30 mph over the speed limit, I'm a suspected criminal.

  • Acosmist||

    Driving too slow is actually dangerous, and in PA, illegal (you have to pull over and let people pass you if there's only one lane).

    Be nice to see that enforced.

  • ||

    Cash on hand is evidence of criminal activity nowadays.

  • lberns1||

    "Ella's attorneys have requested a jury trial."

    Well, he can definitely kiss it good-bye then.

  • Dweebston||

    Nah. I doubt xenophobia or scaremongering will do much to polish a pretty obvious cash grab by the feds. Bureaucracy won't win much sympathy from a jury chaired by Joe and Jill Everyman.

  • cw||

    I'm channeling my inner Tulpa, but didn't Ella technically commit a crime? Sure, the law is retarded and maybe even evil, but the reason headline doesn't seem entirely accurate.

    *ducks head*

  • ||

    What was he convicted of?

  • Xenocles||

    Indeed, show us the conviction before you blab about how he should be punished for his crime.

    I know that's not how forfeiture works, but whatever.

  • cw||

    It says "accused of, well, nothing." The Feds accused him of "structuring." So that's something.

    Sorry, just getting my pedant on. Fuck the fucking Feds.

  • ||

    He *wasn't* 'accused' of anything. The feds *said* he was structuring, took his money, and walked away.

    They didn't go through the effort of *accusing* him because that would get the courts involved. If you're accused you get to defend against that, if they just 'accuse' the money, then you don't.

  • cw||

    OK, thanks for clearing that up.

  • ||

    The wording of the news story is very confusing, e.g.,

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office rejects any allegation it is prosecuting Ella because of his Iranian heritage.
    The federal complaint against Ella does not allege that he is involved in a criminal enterprise

    emphasis mine

  • ||

    Actually, that makes it worse - they are *literally* accusing him of nothing.

  • cw||

    So the feds are even more mischievous than I thought.

  • Sevo||

    So the feds are even more mischievous than I thought.

    You misspelled "corrupt"

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    So, he is accused of complying with the law, in order to not fill out paper work ... when the banks already (obviously) spy on all of us for Feds fishing trips anyways. Sound like a truly heinous crime.

  • ||

    The headlines uses the word "Accused"

    It just depends on if you interpret "nothing" literally or as "nothing of importance"

  • cw||

    Exactly.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    If they've got things defined so that they can always charge anybody anywhere with a crime, then their definitions don't deserve any respect at all. We are then forced to revert to normal non-statist-fuck definitions for "crime".

  • cw||

    Goddamn, asset forfeiture is really fucking evil. Make a stupid law and voila! You can legally steal from the peons!

  • John C. Randolph||

    Actually, it's not "legal" at all. The fifth amendment very explicitly prohibits it. Forfeiture is a usurpation, not a law.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Definitely not OT:

    Mozart was black

    TW: unreadable text. Go here instead.

  • cw||

    Very strange. Girl must be trolling.

  • ||

    The way threading works on Tumblr, what the pictured girl wrote is actually on the very bottom:

    Tumblr will literally believe anything you tell them. Notice there isn’t a single source. If you do a reverse image search of the image, it comes up with the original paintings of Mozart, which should be enough to alert alarm bells. There’s also absolutely no information about this that comes up on Google, apart from blogs and tumblrs.
    Also, “bringing Classical music to Europe"? 20 seconds on the internet (and two years of GCSE music) will tell you that the Classical period of music is generally accepted as starting around 1750 - 6 years before Mozart was even born.
  • cw||

    Thanks. I couldn't tell if she wrote the original text or the comment.

  • West Texas||

    I have often argued with people that nailing Al Capone for tax evasion was more or less "cheating"... and the preponderant response has been that he was a bad guy and the feds were just doing what they could to get him off the street so why niggle with the details?

    Pretty sure the jury here will more or less get fed an argument that such laws are "necessary" to keep track of the bad guys and that they'll just slurp it up and spit out a guilty verdict.

    And this doesn't even get into the more substantial question of why "terrorism" and "drugs" are "crimes" in the first place.

  • PapayaSF||

    Oh come on, Capone didn't make his money as a second-hand furniture dealer. That was what he claimed. It's not cheating to pop him for tax evasion.

  • DenverJay||

    Too lazy to look it up right now, but wasn't the whole point of the tax evasion charge that he didn't pay taxes on the booze he sold? Kind of like the tax stamp for marijuana that is required but will never be issued? Just like the tax stamp on every pack of cigs, except for the black market ones.

  • ||

    why "terrorism" and "drugs" are "crimes" in the first place

    Using drugs is definitely not a crime. Terrorism? You mean like blowing up innocent people? That's definitely a crime, even when it's mostly governments doing it, or causing it.

  • ||

    Blowing up people doesn't need it's own separate crime. Terrorism can be loosely defined to encompass a broad range of non-violent acts.

  • ||

    Agree. Murder is murder. We have a plethora of laws on the books that are redundant. Why do we need 6 million laws? So that worthless, parasitic politicians look like they are doing something to justify their existence.

  • np||

    The other bad part of these laws is that banks are legally obligated to file suspicious activity reports. $10,000 and up immediately triggers reporting, but the SALs come from some kind of pattern detection they do. In fact they're doing it happily, usually going even beyond the better-safe-than-sorry setting, like good little boys to get on Papa Fed's good side.

    http://www.americanbanker.com/.....910-1.html

    Regarding surveillance, the world may never have a Fincen whistleblower in the same way that we have an NSA or CIA whistleblower. This is because the Fincen bureau conducts all of its surveillance activity out in the open and in plain sight, probably for its effect as a deterrent. Fincen even recruits banks and other agent financial institutions to participate in the direct surveillance that make serious and consequential judgment calls along the way.

    Yay, more cronyism FTW! cuz if you can't beat em, join em

    As he states though, other countries are not so happy to oblige. They would rather just not deal with US customers (or even their own citizens if they are in the US from other reports). And:

    Christopher Alkan calculates that the US approach of extending the scope of its laws beyond its own territory will eventually backfire.

  • Sevo||

    "Yay, more cronyism FTW! cuz if you can't beat em, join em"

    Do the banks have any choice in the matter?
    Regardless of shithead's and shreek's lies, it's not like they have a lot of room to maneuver before they're violating some reg or other.

  • np||

    Well, a slave who is beaten can fight it, not be so complicit, convince others not to bend over when requested, instead of going to your master, lubing yourself, and bending over before even being asked, to be part of the gang

    http://orlingrabbe.com/money2.htm


    The Banker as Snitch: the Brave New World of Law Enforcement

    One of the precepts of the Church of the Subgenius is: You will pay to know what you really think [2]. But in the world of money-laundering, you will pay your thankless banker to turn you in to the government. In 1993 a Federal judge in Providence, Rhode Island, issued the longest sentence ever given for a non-violent legal offense: he sentenced a man to 600 years in prison for money laundering. The individual was fingered by his Rhode Island bankers, who then cooperated with federal agents in building a case against him, even while the same bankers received fees for banking services.
  • np||

    I don't blame them for reluctantly complying. But there's too much willful, above and beyond compliance and not enough defiance.

    American Express was recently fined $7 million for failing to detect money laundering, and agreed to forfeit to the U.S. Justice Department another $7 million. As part of the settlement, the bank will spend a further $3 million in employee education, teaching them recommended procedures for spying on customer transactions.

    In a book about banker Edmond Safra [3], author Bryan Burrough notes: "To truly defeat money launderers, banks must know not only their own customers--by no means an easy task--but their customers' customers, and in many cases their customers' customers' customers." (p. x). And then, as part of an argument clearing Safra's Republic National Bank of money laundering charges, Burrough recounts how he visited the office of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and talked with one of its top officials. The official said that, on the contrary, Republic had made "some solid suggestions about new ways the government could track dirty money"(p. xii).

    Most have still not gotten the message that their banker is a spy. [ . . . ]
  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Romans 13:1, New International Version
    Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

  • Redmanfms||

    One of many reasons I stopped being a Christian (or believing in God in general).

    The real impetus for me though was when I was reading 1 Kings 21, the story of Naboth's vineyard. What Ahab and Jezebel did was abhorrent (which is why a bunch of feminists choosing to name their blog after her is a bit perplexing), but God tells Elijah that he will spare Ahab his wrath because he tore his clothes and lamented, “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”

    When I read that all I could say was WTF? His sons (and the people of Israel) are going to be subject to punishment because of the crimes of the father, fuck that.

    It lead me to 3 possible conclusions:

    1. God is real, and the Bible is more-or-less factual, which means God is a murderous tyrant unworthy of my worship.

    2. God isn't real and doesn't exist.

    3. God is real, but he's uninvolved in human affairs (which is certainly suggested by the whole "fallen world" trope).

    Anyway, I digress. Divine rule is bullshit.

  • Sevo||

    "1. God is real, and the Bible is more-or-less factual, which means God is a murderous tyrant unworthy of my worship.

    2. God isn't real and doesn't exist.

    3. God is real, but he's uninvolved in human affairs (which is certainly suggested by the whole "fallen world" trope)."

    #1 and #3 (the sky daddy is either a murderous bastard or irrelevant) leads to #2.

  • Redmanfms||

    Eh, not really. #1 makes #2 preferable and #3 means there isn't much point in worrying whether contorting myself attempting to meet God's admittedly impossible standards.

  • Redmanfms||

    *is worth it.

  • Sevo||

    Disagreed.

  • Redmanfms||

    Disagreed.

    Yeah, yeah, I know you are a militant proselytizing antitheist who mocks "bleevers" at every turn because they refuse to see the world your way.

    You are oddly dogmatic and irrational in that regard, almost like a bleever.

  • Sevo||

    Redmanfms| 7.28.13 @ 10:05PM |#
    "You are oddly dogmatic and irrational in that regard, almost like a bleever."

    Yes, to fools, disbleef = bleef! I've heard that crap before.
    I'm sure your self righteousness justifies the clams.

  • Redmanfms||

    Yes, to fools, disbleef = bleef! I've heard that crap before.

    Not the comparison I was making. It's your dogmatic self-righteous preachiness that bears resemblance to "bleef."

    I'm sure your self righteousness justifies the clams.

    Projection at its finest.

  • Irish||

    Yes, to fools, disbleef = bleef! I've heard that crap before.

    I'm an atheist, but this is an annoying as shit argument that atheists seem to use more often than the argument merits. Whenever someone points out a way in which an atheist is behaving like the religious individuals that he claims to despise, the atheist will say 'but atheism is not a religion! Disbelief is not the same as belief!' This is factually accurate, but meaningless. No one is arguing that atheism=religion, merely that certain atheists behave exactly like the religious and are just as unyielding, just as thoughtless, and just as prone to mindless group think.

  • Sevo||

    "No one is arguing that atheism=religion, merely that certain atheists behave exactly like the religious and are just as unyielding, just as thoughtless, and just as prone to mindless group think."

    Yeah, group-think like 1+1=2.
    I'd love to hear your comments regarding those who claim 1+1=3. Let's hear it; I'm sure it;s amusing.

  • Sevo||

    "Projection at its finest."
    I agree; you're doing quite well. Care to tell us how non-bleef = bleef? I'm all ears.

  • DesigNate||

    God you get so stupid about this subject. Like shriek levels of stupid. Did you not bother to read the part where Redmanfms says he stopped being Christian and doesn't even really believe in god?

  • Redmanfms||

    I agree; you're doing quite well. Care to tell us how non-bleef = bleef? I'm all ears.

    Read for comprehension:

    Not the comparison I was making. It's your dogmatic self-righteous preachiness that bears resemblance to "bleef."

    I'll add, not because you have "non-faith", but because you are an obtuse preachy shithead about your "non-bleef," just as "bleefers" can be about their "faith."

    I'm not equating the two, and you would have to be either dishonest in the extreme or fucking comically retarded to even come to that conclusion.

  • Irish||

    What Ahab and Jezebel did was abhorrent (which is why a bunch of feminists choosing to name their blog after her is a bit perplexing)

    The difference between Jezebel the woman and Jezebel the feminists is that the woman was eaten by dogs, and Jezebel posters are dogs.

  • ||

    This sort of thing just plays into their victimization mentality. Sure Jezzies are all dogs, *that's* not what makes them wrong.

  • ||

    The entire basis of the New Testament is that Christ came to abolish the old laws because man had fucked them up.

    Jesus brought the 11th commandment, which never gets publicity for some reason, which is to love one another.

  • np||

    As Matonis also briefly covers in the article above:

    Since the establishment of Fincen in 1990 to act as the designated administrator of the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act, two generations of educated Americans, including some smart attorneys, have been conditioned to think of money laundering as a real and legitimate category of crime. Eradication of privacy is the goal and manipulation of the semantic crime debate is the tool.

    He wrote an interesting article about the history money laundering and tries to administer the Red Pill to anyone willing to listen:
    http://www.americanbanker.com/.....902-1.html

    However, as the late J. Orlin Grabbe wrote: "Anyone who has studied the evolution of money-laundering statutes in the U.S. and elsewhere will realize that the 'crime' of money laundering boils down to a single, basic prohibited act: Doing something and not telling the government about it."
  • John||

    Pretty much. Remember that you launder money so that you can pay taxes on it. People didn't start laundering money until they started going after criminals for tax evasion.

  • TheSpiteHouse||

    Did I miss all the "Breaking Bad" references? Come on! Albuquerque! Large sums of money!

  • A Serious Man||

    Better call Saul!

  • brec||

    Anyone depositing more than $10,000 in the bank has to file a report with the Department of the Treasury

    Nah. It's the bank which must file.

  • Killazontherun||

    Reminds me of Robert Wenzel's list of lost freedoms.

    http://www.economicpolicyjourn.....ld-do.html

    In 1975:

    1.You could buy an airline ticket and fly without ever showing an ID.

    2.You could buy cough syrup without showing an ID.

    3.You could buy and sell gold coins without showing an ID

    4.You could buy a gun without showing an ID

    5.You could pull as much cash out of your bank account without the bank filing a report with the government.

    6.You could get a job without having to prove you were an American.

    7.You could buy cigarettes without showing an ID

    8.You could have a phone conversation without the government knowing who you called and who called you.

    9. You could open a stock brokerage account without having to explain where the money came from.

    10. You could open a Swiss bank account with ease. All Swiss banks were willing and happy to open accounts for Americans.

  • ||

    I remember Murika in 1975. I was 15. And in the years following that, It's hard to explain to anyone who was not alive then, how free we were, and what that felt like.

    And now, 38 years later, it's 1984.

  • Robert||

    In 1975 in the USA or much of it:

    You weren't allowed to compete with the Bell System.

    The presumption was not in favor of your being issued a concealed carry permit.

    Homosexual behavior was illegal.

    Cable TV was illegal.

    The number of broadcasting stations you could own was severely limited.

    You couldn't set your own fares on domestic airline routes.

    Oil & gas were under price controls.

    The practice of today's nurse-midwives, physician assistants, and other allied health professions was illegal without a MD license.

    I could go on & on.

  • ||

    So, are you saying it's better now?

  • Robert||

    Hard to tell whether better or worse. There are always many strings pulling in different directions.

  • Tejicano||

    "4.You could buy a gun without showing an ID"

    Actually, the 4473 form was implemented by the 1968 Gun Control Act and was also required when purchasing ammunition. So, yes, you did need to present an ID to purchase a gun in 1975.

  • Killazontherun||

    I was going to qualify it the other way. I have never purchased a gun from a registered dealer, but own several legally.

  • Ted S.||

    The complaint is here.

    There is no here here.

  • prolefeed||

    I’m sympathetic to the claim that sometimes prosecutors have to rely on financial crimes to put away bad guys whose real crimes cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • prolefeed||

    I'm entirely unsympathetic to the notion that fake crimes can be used to lock up people who have not been convicted or even charged with harming anyone.

  • Killazontherun||

    You have to see this to believe anyone is actually this stupid,

    Detroit is America’s “most libertarian city”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ded#at=112

    Roadz! Somalia! (none of our people can find it on a map so lets make that) Detroit!

  • General Butt Naked||

    First comment on the toob...

    Detroit = Libertarian city. Now I think I why libertarians are told to go to somalia. Somalia was fucked up by drone bombing and US sponsored invasion, detroit was fucked up by government management.
    Libertarian city = wherever the US government has destroyed.

    Pretty good, gonna have to steal that 'un.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    When the mismangement is going on = Democrats

    The results of mismangement = libertarian

    If Detroit actually were libertarian, if the city were ever run on the principle of free markets, without the cronyism and criminality that has gone hand in glove with TEAM BLUE rule, Detroit wouldn't be $18 billion in the hole, and it certainly wouldn't look like a warzone.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Just like every economic downturn is blamed on runaway capitalism and the cure is, naturally, aggressive Keynesian intervention.

  • ||

    If Detroit were libertarian there'd be a goddamned Robocop! The city couldn't run worse by the Old Man than by the 'elected' government.

  • ||

    WOW!

    Art? Really?

    The good news is, you are no longer irrelevant when they feel the need to attack you.

    Libertarians are to be feared. Sweet!

  • buybuydandavis||

    More and more, government agents and departments are free lancing on the fleecing of the tax livestock. No longer content to get their cut of the "official" taxes, they're just showing up with guns and shaking people down.

  • Paul.||

    Procedures were followed...

  • Robert||

    Would he have been allowed to voluntarily file CTRs on those $less-than-10,000 deposits?

    I've never understood the purpose of these cash transaction reporting requirements as applied to banks. What it's saying is that if you have cash, keep it as cash. Why do they want to discourage you from getting it out of a form they can't monitor, and into a form they can—namely, a bank acc't? It seems to accomplish exactly the opposite of its ostensible purpose.

  • Adam330||

    Because putting money into bank accounts is the doorway into using it for more than just pocket money, which is presumably what a drug kingpin wants to do with it. You can't buy a million-dollar house, or a Lambourghini, etc. with cash. At least not very easily.

  • Robert||

    Yeah, but money can be laundered much more effectively other ways than thru a bank! And besides, if the gov't did want the mobsters to keep it in cash, that'd just be an invit'n to "corrupt" more of society into a cash economy. I think there are a lot of people who'd like to make a big sale in cash if they could get it, just to avoid taxes.

  • Mark22||

    A big problem with these laws is that making multiple small transactions is useful for reducing risks and smoothing out exchange rates.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Another big problem is that the Banks should't be able to tell the Feds one fucking bit of information about your financial life unless the Feds have a fucking warrant, as described by the 4th amendment. So the entire notion of 'structuring' is 100% bullshit.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Thread winner

  • Paul.||

    FYTW

  • A Serious Man||

    Wow, there's a riot going on in Huntington Beach after the US Open of surfing. Friend sent me a picture of some idiots attacking a stop sign.

  • Nooge.||

    So if you're depositing cash money into the bank, you have got to deposit exactly ten grand?

    Who the fuck came up with that, and why is it some kind of magic number? Could a terrorist not put multiples of ten thousand dollars into a bank and just slip under the radar?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    That would be "structuring."

  • DWC||

    If you would have told me that this could happen 25 years ago I would never have believed you, but that is true of so many things the state does now. Any pretense that this is a free country is absurd at this point.

  • JimmyJohn||

    This might look like a "detour" in this man's life, but "prosecutorial misconduct" is a fact of life. Prosecutors are virtually immune for any penalties (ie hiding exculpatory evidence, etc). This is the action of a police state (guilty until proven innocent),

  • JimmyJohn||

    Guilty until proven innocent ......It's now the American way

  • bassjoe||

    If you click through to the Albuquerque Journal story, you'll see that he used three financial institutions for the deposits: a credit union, a local bank and.... Wells Fargo. Any guess as to which of those three "tipped" the DHS of "suspicious activities"?

    That said, civil forfeiture laws are evil and a clear end-run around the 5th Amendment. The Supreme Court has justified their existence because it's not a criminal process so, ergo, Constitutional protections don't apply. They are not only used by federal prosecutors who can't make a criminal case but also by corrupt small town sheriff and DA offices. A K-9 unit barking at a car is enough "suspicion" for a sheriff to forfeit a car. The car is seized and, after the owner (who probably lives thousands of miles away) figures out it's not worth the expense to fight to get it back, is sold at an auction where the sheriff and DA each get a cut.

    Disgusting. Home of the free, my arse.

  • bassjoe||

    Should be "for a sheriff to SEIZE a car"...

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