Today"s "Asset Search News Roundup" highlights hiding / smuggling cash at U.S.-Mexican border crossings and describes how fraudsters might select bank accounts to facilitate their financial frauds:

  • On December 14, 2009 federal agents reportedly seized $300,000 in undeclared currency at a U.S.- Mexican border crossing in Arizona. The $300,000 was allegedly hidden / smuggled in a suitcase in a vehicle occupied by two residents from Sonora, Mexico.

    The previous day, federal agents at a different border crossing in Arizona had seized $70,000 dollars possessed by another person from Sonora, Mexico. According to a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol press release, the $70,000 was hidden in this spare tire of a 2008 Chevrolet Cheyenne:

Photo: Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

  • "Concealing Cash By Laundering In Lithuania", mentioned two international gang members who were the subject of the Baltic Times article "Money Laundering Gang Detained". These gang members had supposedly targeted bank accounts with no financial activity and then allegedly hijacked them for use as laundering links in a money laundering circuit.

    Others facilitate their financial frauds by contrarily selecting bank accounts which have lots of financial activity. A December 15, 2009 press release explains that Lone Star National Bank former vice president Emma Vigil was convicted of bank fraud for her embezzlement. Ms. Vigil had concealed the embezzlement at Lone Star National Bank by targeting customers who had "high balance and high activity accounts".

Copyright 2009 Fred L. Abrams