1996-12-26 - Re: Legality of requiring credit cards?

Header Data

From: jim bell <jimbell@pacifier.com>
To: Brian Davis <bdavis@thepoint.net>
Message Hash: 0dab87a2ecf2b041da1257836e52951e600939fe5a3898abbfd94a5d9c1d41f4
Message ID: <199612260701.XAA25145@mail.pacifier.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1996-12-26 07:01:55 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 25 Dec 1996 23:01:55 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: jim bell <jimbell@pacifier.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Dec 1996 23:01:55 -0800 (PST)
To: Brian Davis <bdavis@thepoint.net>
Subject: Re: Legality of requiring credit cards?
Message-ID: <199612260701.XAA25145@mail.pacifier.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 12:31 AM 12/26/96 -0500, Brian Davis wrote:
>On Tue, 24 Dec 1996, jim bell wrote:

>> Again, he clearly DID NOT "evade the reporting requirement."  Brian Davis 
>> admitted this. (Whether he ever intended to do this is sheer speculation on 
>> the part of anyone else.  We'll never know; as Davis pointed out, the IRS 
>> screwed up.)   Even if the standard of evidence was as low as 
>> of evidence" (which it, of course, is not in a criminal case) he SHOULD 
>> won.  By waiting until the return was filed and the tax was paid, the IRS 
>> was allowing him to resolve whatever ambiguity remained.
>You misunderstand what the statute intends.  The violation is for 
>attempting to evade *the bank's* requirement to report certain 
>transactions (i.e. >$10K).  He structured the transaction in an effort to 
>keep the bank from complying with the law.

You just admitted that the bank was ready, willing, and able to report the 
tranactions without regard to whether they fit within some specific, fixed 
standard.  That being the case, and presuming somebody was aware enough of 
the practices to realize this (which the lawyer presumably was), then 
there's no evidence that doing what the lawyer did would "keep the bank from 
complying with the law."  (How, exactly, was the lawyer to know whether or 
not any particular action would actually achieve the result you claimed he 

>> Actually, if there were any justice, he should have been able to sue the 
>> bank for reporting him and NOT INFORMING HIM of that fact.  (I presume the 
>> law requires the bank to report suspicious transactions.  I also presume 
>> that the law _doesn't_ prohibit the bank from telling the customer that it 
>> will have to report that transaction.) 

Apparently, I presumed wrong.  The thugs are even more thuggish than I had 
imagined.  Whether or not any such prohibition is constitutional is another 
issue, however.  The fact that anybody would attempt to write such a 
restriction into law says a lot about them, however!

>>The bank, presumably being experts 
>> in the matter, recognizes that lay individuals can't be expected to be 
>> in specialized areas, and should be considered obligated to warn customers 
>> away from suspicious-looking transactions.  I'm sure the REAL LAWYERS (tm) 
>> on this list will be able to cite examples of where experts of all kinds 
>> were sued by non-experts for failing to warn them of unexpected dangers 
>> could have been averted had the appropriate advice been given promptly.
>So you want the bank to be your nanny? 

I would argue that if the bank can be forced to help the government enforce 
the law, the bank should also become liable for damage done as a consequence 
of complying with such requirements.  While it's a different area, within 
the last few years a decision was made (SC?) that companies which had made 
Agent Orange for the US Government during Vietnam can be held liable 
(without recourse against the government, apparently) for the damages caused 
ex-servicemen for selling dioxin-tained Agent Orange to the government, but 
manufactured totally according to government specifications.  (and used only 
outside the US, under government direction, by government agents, in an 
entirely different legal jurisdiction, to boot!)   Seemingly, doing 
something at the behest of government does not immunize one.

> The guy is a lawyer and had 
>previously been involved in transactions in which such reports had been 
>filed.  What is your explanation for the three 3 $9k check request?  

I have none.  But then again, I don't have to.  Unless "guilty until proven 
innocent" has been adopted as a standard of proof in American courts.  Do 
you know something we don't?

BTW, gambling pools like this are supposed to be illegal, aren't they?  
Isn't it odd when government seems to stop enforcing laws unless it's 
profitable to do so?  

Jim Bell