The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Manalapan Township Police Department received an unexpected windfall last week when the federal government issued checks worth almost $270,000 to those agencies.
The payments were funded by forfeited money resulting from a joint task force comprising the IRS, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Manalapan Township and Hillside Police Departments. Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis Valentin accepted $163,340 from the U.S. Treasury while Manalapan Police Chief Stuart Brown received a check worth $104,428 on behalf of his Department. The joint task force was formed to investigate violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
Congress enacted the BSA in 1970 to help spot money “laundering” and other financial crimes. The Act requires banks to keep paper trails on certain large transactions.
Probably the most widely known of these transactions are individual deposits or withdrawls for more than $10,000.
Some individuals attempt to avoid this red flag by structuring financial transactions in a manner that results in them coming just below the $10,000 reporting threshold. What many do not realize is that it is a federal crime to do so. This sort of financial structuring is widely associated with crimes such as narcotics trafficking and tax fraud.
The windfall to local law enforcement comes at a time when local and state agencies are starving for funds due to the recession and attendant state budget crisis. The task force has reportedly been wildly successful while enabling the transfer of the profits of illegal activity to local communities in desperate need of financial assistance.
If you have been accused of fraud, a drug charge, or financial crime, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for a free consultation.