Yesterday I entered my local Chase Bank branch office to make a $20 cash deposit. The teller asked for my ID. He refused to take my $20 unless my driver’s license with a picture ID was removed from my wallet and given to him. He then proceeded to scan it, before taking my $20 and making the deposit. Here it was that I am the owner of the account. It has my name on it. The record of the transaction should be enough to establish the validity of the deposit. Who would put $20 cash in my account other than me? When I asked the teller why I needed to show proof of my identity to make the deposit he said it was to prevent money laundering. I laughingly declared, “This is crazy,” and was quickly joined by the others waiting in line behind me decrying the policy as stupid. I looked back at the teller and said, “Who the hell launders money $20 at a time?” to which he replied, “It’s bank policy.” To the chagrin of the stern branch manager, the entire room of customers broke out in hysterical laughter at their buffoonery.
Don’t they know how money laundering is done? First, you have to be a drug kingpin or a realty tycoon with multiple international holdings. Local drug kingpins spend cash. They roll up their “Benjamins” with rubber bands and disperse it like peds candy. They don’t need to launder it. The really big guys take the money out of the country before they bring it back in “cleaned.”
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But if you’re a millionaire or billionaire with extensive holdings, a team of thug lawyers, say like Michael Cohen or Paul Manafort, connections to Russian Oligarchs, Russian banking and a questionable relationship to Deutsche Bank you have the perfect opportunity to move large sums of cash around the globe without ever presenting your ID. But here’s Chase Bank doing their part to be vigilant crime-stoppers by demanding my picture ID before allowing me to deposit $20 into my personal checking account. Everyone and their little sister knows it’s the big banks that do the money laundering. Who are they kidding? Next thing you know, I’ll have to present a picture ID to buy milk in this country.
Whose running this nuthouse anyway?