Monday, June 1, 2015

Indited for taking money out of the bank improperly

Do you think that government isn't too big these days?

Do you have money in your bank account that you might want to take out and spend some day?

Did you know that if you take out or deposit more than $10,000 your bank has to report that to the IRS, even though it is your money and perfectly legal?

Did you know that you can be charged with a crime if the government thinks that you are taking your money out in smaller chunks in order to avoid the reporting requirement?

What the hell business is it of the government how you save or spend your money?  It is your money.  If they think you are doing something illegal they should get a warrant and investigate you but this type of fishing expedition is an outrage.  The original idea behind the law was to crack down on drug dealers and money launderers.  Yet another casualty of the War on Drugs.

Why is this in the news now?  Well Denny Hastert, former Speaker of the House, has apparently been paying someone to keep their mouth shut about something he may have done in the past.  It isn't illegal to pay someone to keep their mouth shut, although it may be illegal to take money to not report a crime and it is definitely illegal to extort someone in exchange for not reporting a crime.  Not sure that I agree with either of those laws either, but that's a topic for another post.  The reality here is that we don't know what he may or may not have done (although there seems to be no shortage of people willing to engage in speculation) but we do know that he took the money out in increments smaller than $10,000 to avoid the reporting requirement.

Who cares?

Only the federal government which has charged him with "structuring of withdrawals to evade reporting requirements".

Oh, and apparently when they asked him about it, he lied to the federal agents.  F... them.  Why is it that the police can walk up to you on the street and lie to you in an effort to get you to incriminate yourself but if you lie to them they can charge you with a crime?  But wait, that's yet another topic for another post.

Focus, must focus.  In the words of the Ace of Spades, Hastert has been indited for "withdrawing money from his bank".

I don't give a fig about Dennis Hastert or his legal troubles, but it's hard to argue that the federal government isn't too big and doesn't have too much power.


genericviews said...

I see three honest to goodness crimes here, two of which are federal crimes:

1. Extortion/blackmail.
2. Child molestation/indecency/improper touching or some such thing
3. Tax evasion. (the blackmailer very likely did not report his ill-gottem gains as proper income since Hastert likely did not give him a 1099-msc form.

The two federal crimes that the FBI should had detected and gone after are 1 and 3. They should have referred 2 to local authorities.

instead they decided that only the "lying to the FBI" was worth going after.

heresolong said...

Not convinced that 1 should be a crime. You can't be blackmailed if you don't do something wrong and any transaction with a blackmailer is a consensual transaction. You could tell them to go whistle and take the consequences of whatever they had to say.

2 is pure speculation. AFAIK there has been no actual report of any crime, merely speculation on what it might have been or what it was likely to have been.

3 yes. Although if we eliminated the income tax and went back to a system that did not require the federal government to know every little thing about your finances...

genericviews said...

I agree with you philosophically on number 1. But legally, it is a law and the FBI should be conserned with that. You can't blackmail an honest man. "give me money or I will tell", "Go ahead and tell", "checkmate".

I also agree with 3. But again, ,the FBI should be conserned with the laws we have, not the laws we wish we had.

And i agree with 2. But it looks like the FBI had some credible information that Hastert did not keep the money like he said. If the proceeds of that money looks like it may have meen tied to a local violation, they should have referred it to local authorities to investigate further and see what is there.