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WIRE TRANSFER RECORDS
AVAILABLE AT BANKS
RECORDS RELATING TO WIRE TRANSFER ARE USUALLY FILED BY DATE
OBTAINING OF FINANCIAL
Enclosures: Airtel from Director to Albany, dated 6/28/79, Treasury Forms 4790, 4789, forms 90-22.1, sample of communication to HQ and sample of printout from Treasury in Response to FBI Request.
Most if not all criminal activity is motivated by a desire to accumulate money. Consequently a key element in the proof of a crime is to establish that funds were transferred illegally to the accused. Establishing the transfer of such funds will assist in proving criminal intent and certainly has great impact on a jury. The ability to establish where an accused has secreted cash can become a critical element of any criminal investigation. Consequently being cognizant of the various tools available to the investigator to trace funds will hopefully add to the success of his investigative efforts. The purpose of this memoranda is to set forth for investigative personnel in the New York Division a provision of the currency and Foreign Transaction Reporting Act (CFRA) which creates a means by which hidden or unknown bank accounts of subjects may be discovered.
There are basically three areas that the CFRA could be of benefit to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first relates to transfers by individuals or businesses of cash (currency) not checks in excess of $10,000. The second concerns the transfer of amounts in excess of $5,000 either currency or monetary instruments physically transported, mailed or shipped from within the United States to outside the United States or vice versa. A third area concerns Information Forms 4789 Currency Transaction Report, and Form .4683 U.S. Information Return or Foreign Bank, Securities and Other Financial Accounts. Both of the above forms are furnished as attachments for your use and information.
There are a number of investigative areas within the jurisdiction of the FBI that lend themselves to the utilization of information maintained by Customs that can be obtained via CFRA request as follows:
1) Narcotics Investigations Deposits of funds generated from illegal narcotics transactions.
2) Planned Bankruptcies - In these cases large amounts of cash are often withdrawn. The determination that principals of the bankrupt have deposited large sums in hidden bank accounts could be a crucial piece of evidence. In this regard records maintained by Customs could reflect transaction, ie deposits of $10,000.00 or more made by principals of the bankrupt anywhere in the United States. Secondly, if the money were physically taken out of the U.S. or mailed outside the U.S., it is possible that Customs could also have a record of that transaction.
3) Organized Crime Investigations - A request for financial information on companies and individuals could lead to the discovery of additional hidden business operations utilized by Organized Crime members or result in substantive evidence being developed in on-going Organized Crime investigations.
4) Bribery Investigation A key to such investigation is establishing how cash was generated for the payoff and then subsequent transfer of the cash to the public official. Obviously, discovery of hidden bank accounts through the Customs request could prove invaluable in this area.
5) Major Business Frauds - In these cases large amounts of cash are transferred from victim to con-men who then draw the money out of their accounts in cash and redeposit the funds at a bank known only to them in another part of the country or another part of the world. Here again Custom records that would make possible the discovery of such hidden bank accounts could prove invaluable in making the case.
6) Extortion Kidnapping Utilization of the information maintained by Customs could result in discovery of where ransom money was depostied assuming you have suspects. If you have no suspects it is possible for Customs to access records of all financial institutions in a particular area looking for suspect deposits of greater than $10,000.00.
In summary the Customs Computerized Data Base on Financial Transaction can be of great value in (1) discovering hidden bank accounts; (2) establishing substantive evidence where a particular transfer of funds on a particular date is of critical importance, and (3) in developing lead information on other business and financial interest that may constitute important circumstantial evidence.
What information is available from Customs pursuant to FBI request: 1) An IBM printout setting forth all transfers of more than $10,000 in cash, what bank was involved, where the bank is located. 2) A copy of Form 4789 Currency Transaction Report which sets forth among other things a) identity of the person who conducted the transaction, b) Social Security Number, c) Address, d) Business or profession, e) Person or Organization for whom the transaction was completed and identifying number, f) Description of transaction, amount and date, g) Details of check if check was part of the transaction, h) Type of identification presented at the bank handling the transaction. 3) Form 4790 Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments which contain such information as DOB, Passport number, Name, Address, type monetary instrument, or amount of money brought into the country or out of the country. 4) Form 90-22.1, US Information Return on Foreign Bank, Securities and other Financial Accounts (see attachment for information on this return).