Update: 3/12/08 — Payments may be as high as $80,000, and state funds may have been used for transportation.
Original on 3/11/08 — Did Eliot Spitzer’s payments to the prostitution ring exceed $10,000, well above the $4,300 of initial reports?
I don’t generally delve into criminal law, but this jumped out at me, and it deals with “structuring.” According to a post at Overlawyered, these are the elements:
31 U.S.C. 5324 prohibits certain actions by any person who acts with the purpose of evading the reporting requirements of Section 5313 (Currency Transaction Reports). The definition of structuring for purposes of currency transaction reporting is found at 31 C.F.R. 103.11(gg). The elements of the structuring regulations are:
A person acting alone, in conjunction with others, or on behalf of others,
Conducts or attempts to conduct,
One or more transactions in currency,
In any amount,
At one or more financial institutions,
On one or more days,
For the purpose of evading the reporting requirements of 31 C.F.R. 103.22 (requiring CTRs).
But something is missing, and that is the follow-up to 31 CFR 103.22, if in fact, that is what was being investigated.
And according to 31 CFR 103.22, the amount must exceed $10,000. So while folks are talking about $4,300 in payments to the prostitution ring, that smaller amount of money wouldn’t have tickled the bank into reporting this potential structuring crime to the IRS, would it?
It seems likely that an amount in excess of $10,000 must be at issue if this is what was being investigated, which means more of a mess than Eliot already has. And to tickle the bank to act, it may be a sum well in excess of that amount, because I wouldn’t think an investigation would be opened if they simply saw two transactions of, say, $6,000 each a few days apart. There could be substantially more at play here.
Addendum: Forty television trucks have encircled the Capitol for the media feeding frenzy.