A newly proposed bill may render you a criminal if you’ve got too much cash and other “untraceable assets” on hand.
Senate Bill 1241, the “Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017”, is ostensibly aimed at catching criminals.
However, this proposed law specifically targets the strangest things–like prepaid mobile phones, and digital coupons.
It also includes stipulations for certain industries such as banks, the post office, currency exchanges, and casinos to be required to report any “suspicious activity” to the government.
It also expands permissions for wiretapping and surveillance of consumers’ email, phones, etc.
It’s almost like they don’t want people to own anything of value that can’t be traced…
Under this bill, the government will be able to greatly extend its own authority to seize privately-owned assets–without a trial or any due process of law.
Through “Civil Asset Forfeiture”, the government can legally confiscate your assets if you commit even one of a laundry list of offenses.
This newly proposed bill makes the list a lot longer, and the penalties even stiffer--to include up to ten years in prison for noncompliance.
Civil asset forfeiture is not a new thing. However, more that a few cases have indicated that the police are just picking and choosing what to seize and from whom–like a nice Mercedes or flat-screen TV–because they can.
In Georgia, for example, one prosecutor said on record that seized money has been used by the authorities to pay for sports tickets, office parties, a home security system and a $90,000 sports car.
If SB 1241 passes, it would expand this already-corrupt practice instead of reigning it in.
However, even if the authorities don’t abuse their civil forfeiture privileges, SB 1241 is troubling in other ways.
In it, the definition of ‘financial crimes’ is greatly expanded, to include the failure to fill out and submit a form when transporting more than $10,000 worth of ‘monetary instruments’.
Further, the bills gives authorization for the government to seize not only someone’s unreported assets, but ALL of their assets–to include cryptocurrency, bank accounts, prepaid phones and gift vouchers–not to mention your home and possessions.
But here’s the most ridiculous part:
In the bill, they state their intention to shut down any business which “issues” cryptocurrency via anti-money laundering regulations.
If you know anything about Bitcoin, you know that it’s a decentralized currency. There is no such thing as an entity that issues Bitcoin–it’s software.
However, SB 1241 does include cryptocurrency in the list of monetary instruments that must be reported when entering or leaving the United States.
This means that if you travel abroad with more than $10,000 in Bitcoin, Ether, or Steem, you need to declare this asset to the government in order to avoid the stiff penalties proposed under this new money laundering act–including both prison time and civil asset forfeiture.
What do you think? Does having more than $10K in Bitcoin and Amazon gift cards make you a potential criminal, deserving wiretaps and jail time?
Or is this just more senseless government intrusion into American lives?