Do you know the safest way to withdraw cash? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Even if you withdraw say $20,000 in four weeks time, depending on the teller, he can still report you! The safest way according to an expert is to privately talk to the branch manager...You may see the full article at They have an interesting article on Why Gary North is wrong on one point. Just one.

-- Richard Smith (, December 10, 1998


IF "they" report you, what are "THEY" going to do? It's your money.


-- Diane J. Squire (, December 10, 1998.

I personally don't agree with the "talk with your manager" strategy. The chances are that someone that withdrew $5,000 a month for four months for example would have no difficulty and no one would make a fuss about it.

However, going in to see your bank manager, would in my opinion (and, like, I'm never wrong hey.....) be a red flag and more likely cause him/her to report you for acting suspiciously.

-- Craig (, December 10, 1998.


I agree; it is your money, and they shouldn't be involved. The regulation/law that Richard is referring to is the Cash Transaction Report (CTR). Basically the Treasury Department wants to be notified of large cash transactions (> $10,000). I would think they would only be interested in deposits, but from what I've been reading, it also applies to witrdrawals too. I asked my bank branch manager about this, and he told me it only involves deposits. I have not seen anything in writing though. This supposedly was a way to try to catch dope dealers. If the transaction is not reported, the bank is in trouble. If you try to circumvent the report by withdrawing smaller amounts over a period of time (called structuring), then YOU have broken the law. For more information, see also Jim Lord's tip at


-- Bill S. (, December 10, 1998.

I was a bank branch manager for several years (before getting into software development). Whether or not you talk to the manager, he/she will notice. It's simply unusual for someone to walk around with thousands of dollars in cash. A request for $5,000 in cash would probably cause the teller to have to go to the vault since they carry so little in their cash drawers. The transaction is also picked up on reports to see if your activity must be reported.

I agree with Diane. So what if you get reported. It is YOUR money. And it is not illegal to carry that much cash. You may draw attention to yourself from feds looking for drug activity, but if you have nothing to hide, who cares.

-- David (, December 10, 1998.

Folks: What you are doing is called "structuring" and is prohibited by law. It is structuring your withdrawl or deposits in order to avoid the CTR. It applies to all transactions either way. It carries a hefty fine and a serious jail term,

The SAFEST way is to call ahead the day before, so they have the money in the vault, go in, sign the form and tell them it's for purchases. Or you could say you are planning to buy a car and you want to watch the look on the face of the salesman.


-- Chuck a night driver (, December 10, 1998.

The key is what is done with a Cash Transaction Report.

The organizations today, I believe, that really make use of it are the DEA and the IRS.

The DEA is interested to catch money laundering. The IRS is interested to catch tax "cheats". They look for large deposits not reported on income tax.

My concern is that the 10,000 lower limit on the CTR might drop, "tracking" more people.

Or that the government, in a crisis, might use the report as a deterrent to "encourage" people to keep money in the bank. (First, by hassling innocents withdrawing their money, and second by tipping off corrupt friends/criminals on "where the goods are". You scratch my back...)

My suggestion would be to:

1. Withdraw up to $9,999 from the bank, ask for a cashier's check, then take it to a coin dealer. If you're going to take the hit and put the "money" in the mattress, you might as well turn it into a "barterable" item. Actually, if you're taking money, I think this is really the best solution. 2. If you're keeping money, get the newest bills possible. Someone I know who "hoarded" money in the 1980's (their business was failing, so they took cash home when they could) is now in trouble because the government has been changing out $100s and $50s and now $20s. This person's money is now all in "old" bills, because they hid it and didn't "circulate" the money. The government stopped investigating a few years, ago. But, if she were to shop up at the bank with thousands in "old" bills, I'm sure the the government would probably reopen the investigation. (That's all can say about this one.) It would be interesting to see if the government is going to change the bills again in the early millenium. I know that the new $20 is unpopular and thus a candidate for change, already... 4. Another reason for coins. I have friends who were around when Castro took over Cuba. One of the first things he did was to change the currency, at an unfavorable exchange rate. Then later, as things got desperate, he started going door to door "confiscating" gold, silver, and foriegn currency to pay bills. This friend still has money buried in Cuba under his old house. (Unfortunately, it does him no good as fled to America the next year.)

-- Glen Austin (, December 10, 1998.

Chuck: From what I've read on structuring, the $5,000 for a month over four months doesn't meet the definition of structuring. $5,000 one day or one week and $5,000 the next day or next week might. I suppose, as Koskinen says, everyone needs to use their own judgment and make their own decisions. I'm sure with some creative thinking, ya'll can come up with solutions. Who says you have to go to the same teller or even the same branch?

-- Diane (, December 10, 1998.

The best way to bring on a fed investigation is to withdraw $9,999. It's such an obvious attempt to avoid reporting that you'll risk prosecution under the structuring law that Chuck cited.

If you have lots of money you want to withdraw, follow Chuck's advice. Be upfront and answer questions honestly. There is no crime in that. If you want to withdraw smaller amounts over a period of time, like $2,000 every other week, just do it. Maybe it's because you don't want to be walking around with that much money. But don't do it to avoid the CTR. If you are questioned, answer honestly. Again, you have nothing to hide. The feds are looking for suspicious activity linked to crimes.

Structuring is only involved if your intent is to avoid the CTR. It cannot be used to prosecute you if you simply wish to withdraw sums of cash over a period of time.

-- David (, December 10, 1998.

here's what i did for my large withdrawal: withdrew the money, got a letter from the branch manager on bank's letterhead certifying that all was hunky-dory.

Also note that wire transfers to coin dealers bank accounts do not have any reporting requirements at all.

And my employer pays me with checks and I promptly cash them.

-- a (a@a.a), December 10, 1998.


The only way I think the government can "catch" this is if someone came into a bank and asked for 10 $9,999 transactions all at one time. That's structuring.

Let's say I have $99,000 (I don't but it's nice to dream) in the bank. I come in once every two weeks and withdraw $9,900 (perhaps varying the amount to make it look less suspicious). Is that structuring? I just don't believe the government could make the case on this one.... Unless the law is REALLY terrible.

What's the time limit for withdrawals to prevent structuring? One month? If it were much longer than that, then a bunch of people would be guilty of structuring just in their normal transactions.

Also, with the $10,000 limit. What constitutes a "suspicous" amount of money? Is withdrawing $50 suspicious if my account has $51? Is withdrawing $50,000 suspicious if my account contains $1 million?

If the law is vague enough not to specify a specific amount of money in a specific amount of time, I would expect that it's unconsitutional.

My thoughts.

-- Glen Austin (, December 10, 1998.

It's been a few years since I worked with the CTR regs (I used to interpret the reg and actually tracked and reported the "suspicious" activities). I do know that's there is no specific time period in which the transactions have to occur. It's interpretive. The reg says something to the effect that banks must report patterns of cash activity that have the appearrance of structuring. When in doubt, the bank is required to report. From there, if a federal agent has questions, they used to contact me for more information. Rarely was anyone ever formally investigated. Mostly, the feds were looking for names of familiar drug dealers. They would input the reports into a database of drug names and aliases. The only time you got contacted as a bank was if the drug database got a hit on your customer's name or if the customer was depositing large sums of cash and your IRS stated income couldn't explain the source. Even then, it wasn't considered a crime, just suspicious. The agent would begin an investigation. Only if true crimes were uncovered was the structuring law enforced.

-- David (, December 10, 1998.

"This friend still has money buried in Cuba under his old house. (Unfortunately, it does him no good as fled to America the next year.)"

Guess Cuba's not on the Plus System. :-)

-- Miss Take (, December 10, 1998.

I am thinking this CTR law is extreme bullsh**. I don't even HAVE enough money for this to be an issue for me, but if I want to take my OWN money out of the bank, then I have that RIGHT to, law or no law. This has got to be one of the more stupid regulations in this country. Sorry but this idea that you would even be QUESTIONED about your own money pisses me off.....trying to catch money launderers or not. Don't they think people laundering money or what not are going to be smarter than to make a $20,000 deposit or withdrawal. Sheesh. So we live in the US or Soviet Russia? Preparing

-- Preparing (, December 10, 1998.

When I was working at Bank of America, we had to ALWAYS report and have the customer fill out a form whenever they withdrew $10,000.00 or more in cash. If they withdrew $5,000.00 one day and came back again and withdrew another $5,000.00 on another day, we COULD have them fill out the form...we did not have to. And it was basicly up to the teller whether or not a form would be filled out. If it was a known customer, no problem. But, if we suspected drug money transactions, we would promptly tell the customer we had to fill out a form and that usually got a reaction and a forget it! Recently I withdrew a large sum to pay for 10 airline tickets and the teller did not even care. Didn't even ask what it was for. However, I do remember at Bank of America they had an employee who would go over transaction records and make note of the larger deposits and withdrawals! I also remember that we could be seriously repremanded if we paid out more than $10,000.00 and the customer did not fill out one of those forms!!! And this was 9 years ago! I think that if any of us (not me...I don't have it!) take out less than the $10,000.00, that is our business! It is our money, not the banks or anyone elses! It should not matter, as long as we are not withdrawing it for any illegal purposes.

-- Blondie Marie (, December 10, 1998.

There is something about the wording of this........

[November 9, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 216)] [Unified Agenda] From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [] [DOCID:ua09no98_052-7] [Page 62700] FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION (FDIC) Proposed Rule Stage _____________________________________________________ 4449. ``KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER44 REQUIREMENTS Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant Legal Authority: 12 USC 1813; 12 USC 1815; 12 USC 1817; 12 USC 1818; 12 USC 1819 (Tenth); 12 USC 1881 to 1883; 31 USC 5318; 42 USC 4012a; 42 USC 4104b; 42 USC 4106 CFR Citation: 12 CFR 326 Legal Deadline: None Abstract: This rulemaking proposes to issue regulations requiring insured nonmember banks to develop and maintain ``Know Your Customer44 programs. As proposed, the regulations would require each institution to develop a program designed to determine the identity of its customers, determine its customers' source of funds; determine the normal and expected transactions of its customers; monitor account activity for transactions that are inconsistent with those normal and expected transactions; and report any transactions of its customers that are determined to be suspicious, in accordance with the FDIC's existing suspicious activity reporting regulations. Timetable: _____________________________________________________ Action Date FR Cite _____________________________________________________ NPRM 11/00/98 Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No Government Levels Affected: None Agency Contact: Carol A. Mesheske, Chief, Special Activities Section, Division of Supervision, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Washington, DC 20429 Phone: 202 898-6750 RIN: 3064-AC19 _____________________________________________________

-- S.Rathes (, December 10, 1998.

Hi folks, read this on an eMail list, the author said to go ahead and quote it, no name necessary:

<< I believe there is ABSOLUTELY NO CAUSE for the "Know you Customer" Program.
If an already suspecting party should require surveillance, that is a different matter, but to look at innocent parties for no other reason then to "check" on them is a ridiculous idea!!! That is a complete invasion of privacy and works to destroy the reasons why our ancestors fought to be here. We have a constitution to have FREEDOM!!!!!! This quote should sum it up completely:

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!!!!!!" Ben Franklin ~1784 >>

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

-- Leska (, December 10, 1998.

For years I have deposited and withdrawn from my various accounts amounts of money in cash in excess of 10K as part of my business. I have never heard a peep from anyone about the practice, and I have never had to fill out no steenking CTR form.

-- Elbow Grease (, December 10, 1998.

i come across this method for withdrawal of cash quite by accident by my own stupidit. I paid some of my bills twice because i didn't pay attention (been so busy lately)

-- Dorothy Baxter (, December 11, 1998.

....continued any way, when they returned my overpayment, i just took the checks to the bank and cashed overpay,cash the refund checks

-- Dorothy Baxter (, December 11, 1998.

Elbow, I totally forgot about the CTR exemption list (it's only been 10 years since I dealt with that stuff). Commercial accounts are generally considered exempt from CTR reporting and even individuals can request and receive exemption status if they demonstrate that they will be dealing with large sums of cash on a regular basis for a legitimate reason. The exemptions, though, are maintained on a list in each branch and by bank for a review at any time by feds or auditors. Your bank probably automatically placed you on the list due to your commercial account status.

-- David (, December 11, 1998.

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