1996-12-25 - Re: Legality of requiring credit cards?

Header Data

From: jim bell <jimbell@pacifier.com>
To: “Brian A. LaMacchia” <bdavis@thepoint.net>
Message Hash: d0e5740e1175a357dde285d2a04810071f3b17445232aa3c8c86ee5699f04d02
Message ID: <199612250329.TAA21067@mail.pacifier.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1996-12-25 03:29:21 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 19:29:21 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: jim bell <jimbell@pacifier.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 19:29:21 -0800 (PST)
To: "Brian A. LaMacchia" <bdavis@thepoint.net>
Subject: Re: Legality of requiring credit cards?
Message-ID: <199612250329.TAA21067@mail.pacifier.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 09:39 PM 12/24/96 -0500, Brian A. LaMacchia wrote:
>At 05:54 PM 12/24/96 -0800, jim bell wrote:
>>"Man wins $27,000.  He will eventually be required to report and pay taxes 
>>on the amount, but not quite yet.  Stupid I/R/S people alert him BEFORE he 
>>files his taxes.  He reports the payment, as is ostensibly legally required. 
>> He paid the taxes owed.  Period."
>>THEN you said, "we settled the matter."   Huh?  What, exactly, was there to 
>Why, of course, the fact that the guy attempted to structure the
>transaction to evade the reporting requirements in the first place.  31
>U.S.C. 5324(a). 

Who says?  He eventually reported it within the legally-defined time.  The 
evidence of intent to COMPLY with the law is far stronger than the evidence 
of the opposite.  

>Structuring (or attempting to structure) a financial
>transaction to evade the reporting requirements is a violation of this
>subsection, and 31 U.S.C. 5322(a) says that a willful violation is a
>five-year felony.

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 "preponderance 
of evidence" (which it, of course, is not in a criminal case) he SHOULD have 
won.  By waiting until the return was filed and the tax was paid, the IRS 
was allowing him to resolve whatever ambiguity remained.

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.)  The bank, presumably being experts 
in the matter, recognizes that lay individuals can't be expected to be experts 
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 that 
could have been averted had the appropriate advice been given promptly.

Jim Bell