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The Florida Statutes

The 2014 Florida Statutes

Title XLVI
CRIMES
Chapter 896
OFFENSES RELATED TO FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS
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CHAPTER 896
CHAPTER 896
OFFENSES RELATED TO FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS
896.101 Florida Money Laundering Act; definitions; penalties; injunctions; seizure warrants; immunity.
896.102 Currency more than $10,000 received in trade or business; report required; noncompliance penalties.
896.103 Transaction which constitutes separate offense.
896.104 Structuring transactions to evade reporting or registration requirements prohibited.
896.105 Penalty provisions not applicable to law enforcement.
896.106 Fugitive disentitlement.
896.107 Rewards for informants.
896.108 Rewards for private entities combating international money laundering.
896.101 Florida Money Laundering Act; definitions; penalties; injunctions; seizure warrants; immunity.
(1) This section may be cited as the “Florida Money Laundering Act.”
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Knowing that the property involved in a financial transaction represents the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity” means that the person knew the property involved in the transaction represented proceeds from some form, though not necessarily which form, of activity that constitutes a felony under state or federal law, regardless of whether or not such activity is specified in paragraph (g).
(b) “Conducts” includes initiating, concluding, or participating in initiating or concluding a transaction.
(c) “Transaction” means a purchase, sale, loan, pledge, gift, transfer, delivery, or other disposition, and with respect to a financial institution includes a deposit, withdrawal, transfer between accounts, exchange of currency, loan, extension of credit, purchase or sale of any stock, bond, certificate of deposit, or other monetary instrument, use of a safety deposit box, or any other payment, transfer, or delivery by, through, or to a financial institution, by whatever means effected.
(d) “Financial transaction” means a transaction involving the movement of funds by wire or other means or involving one or more monetary instruments, which in any way or degree affects commerce, or a transaction involving the transfer of title to any real property, vehicle, vessel, or aircraft, or a transaction involving the use of a financial institution which is engaged in, or the activities of which affect, commerce in any way or degree.
(e) “Monetary instruments” means coin or currency of the United States or of any other country, travelers’ checks, personal checks, bank checks, money orders, investment securities in bearer form or otherwise in such form that title thereto passes upon delivery, and negotiable instruments in bearer form or otherwise in such form that title thereto passes upon delivery.
(f) “Financial institution” means a financial institution as defined in 31 U.S.C. s. 5312 which institution is located in this state.
(g) “Specified unlawful activity” means any “racketeering activity” as defined in s. 895.02.
(h) “Knowing” means that a person knew; or, with respect to any transaction or transportation involving more than $10,000 in U.S. currency or foreign equivalent, should have known after reasonable inquiry, unless the person has a duty to file a federal currency transaction report, IRS Form 8300, or a like report under state law and has complied with that reporting requirement in accordance with law.
(i) “Petitioner” means any local, county, state, or federal law enforcement agency; the Attorney General; any state attorney; or the statewide prosecutor.
(3) It is unlawful for a person:
(a) Knowing that the property involved in a financial transaction represents the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity, to conduct or attempt to conduct such a financial transaction which in fact involves the proceeds of specified unlawful activity:
1. With the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity; or
2. Knowing that the transaction is designed in whole or in part:
a. To conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity; or
b. To avoid a transaction reporting requirement or money transmitters’ registration requirement under state law.
(b) To transport or attempt to transport a monetary instrument or funds:
1. With the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity; or
2. Knowing that the monetary instrument or funds involved in the transportation represent the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity and knowing that such transportation is designed in whole or in part:
a. To conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity; or
b. To avoid a transaction reporting requirement or money transmitters’ registration requirement under state law.
(c) To conduct or attempt to conduct a financial transaction which involves property or proceeds which an investigative or law enforcement officer, or someone acting under such officer’s direction, represents as being derived from, or as being used to conduct or facilitate, specified unlawful activity, when the person’s conduct or attempted conduct is undertaken with the intent:
1. To promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity; or
2. To conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds or property believed to be the proceeds of specified unlawful activity; or
3. To avoid a transaction reporting requirement under state law.
(d) For the purposes of this subsection, “investigative or law enforcement officer” means any officer of the State of Florida or political subdivision thereof, of the United States, or of any other state or political subdivision thereof, who is empowered by law to conduct, on behalf of the government, investigations of, or to make arrests for, offenses enumerated in this subsection or similar federal offenses.
(4) It does not constitute a defense to a prosecution for any violation of this chapter that:
(a) Any stratagem or deception, including the use of an undercover operative or law enforcement officer, was employed.
(b) A facility or an opportunity to engage in conduct in violation of this act was provided.
(c) A law enforcement officer, or person acting under direction of a law enforcement officer, solicited a person predisposed to engage in conduct in violation of any provision of this chapter to commit a violation of this chapter in order to gain evidence against that person, provided such solicitation would not induce an ordinary law-abiding person to violate this chapter.

This subsection does not preclude the defense of entrapment.

(5) A person who violates this section, if the violation involves:
(a) Financial transactions exceeding $300 but less than $20,000 in any 12-month period, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) Financial transactions totaling or exceeding $20,000 but less than $100,000 in any 12-month period, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(c) Financial transactions totaling or exceeding $100,000 in any 12-month period, commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(6) In addition to the penalties authorized by s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, a person who has been found guilty of or who has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to having violated this section may be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $250,000 or twice the value of the financial transactions, whichever is greater, except that for a second or subsequent violation of this section, the fine may be up to $500,000 or quintuple the value of the financial transactions, whichever is greater.
(7) A person who violates this section is also liable for a civil penalty of not more than the value of the financial transactions involved or $25,000, whichever is greater.
(8)(a) If a person is alienating or disposing of monetary instruments or funds, or appears likely to or demonstrates an intent to alienate or dispose of monetary instruments or funds, used in violation of this section, chapter 560, s. 655.50, or any crime listed as specified unlawful activity under this section, or monetary instruments or funds that are traceable to any such violation, the petitioner may commence a civil action in any circuit court having jurisdiction where such monetary instruments or funds are located or have been deposited for a temporary injunction to prohibit any person from withdrawing, transferring, removing, dissipating, or disposing of any such monetary instruments or funds of equivalent value. The temporary injunction will be obtained pursuant to Florida Civil Rule of Procedure 1.610. This section governs all temporary injunctions obtained pursuant to this section and supersedes all other provisions of the rule that may be inconsistent with this section. The court shall take into account any anticipated impact the temporary injunction will have on innocent third parties or businesses, balanced against the petitioner’s need to preserve the monetary instruments or funds.
(b) A temporary injunction must be granted without bond to the petitioner. However, the court may authorize a respondent to post a bond equal to the amount to be enjoined and to have the injunction dissolved.
(c) A temporary injunction is to be entered upon application of the petitioner, ex parte and without notice or opportunity for a hearing with respect to the monetary instruments or funds.
(d) Such a temporary order expires not more than 10 days after the date on which the order is served, unless extended for good cause shown or unless the party against whom it is entered consents to an extension for a longer period.
(e) If at any time the petitioner discovers that the funds sought to be enjoined total less than $10,000, the petitioner shall immediately inform the court and the court shall immediately dissolve the temporary injunction.
(f) At the termination of the temporary injunction or at any time before the termination of the temporary injunction, the petitioner may:
1. Obtain a warrant or other court order and seize the monetary instruments or funds and initiate a civil forfeiture action;
2. Obtain a warrant or other court order and seize the monetary instruments or funds for any subsequent criminal prosecution; or
3. Petition the court to extend the order for a period not longer than 10 days from the original order’s termination date. At the end of the termination of the 10-day extension, the petitioner may take either of the steps outlined in subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. However, the petitioner may not be granted any additional extensions.
(g)1. Upon service of the temporary order served pursuant to this section, the petitioner shall immediately notify by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by personal service, both the person or entity in possession of the monetary instruments or funds and the owner of the monetary instruments or funds if known, of the order entered pursuant to this section and that the lawful owner of the monetary instruments or funds being enjoined may request a hearing to contest and modify the order entered pursuant to this section by petitioning the court that issued the order, so that such notice is received within 72 hours.
2. The notice shall advise that the hearing shall be held within 3 days of the request, and the notice must state that the hearing will be set and noticed by the person against whom the order is served.
3. The notice shall specifically state that the lawful owner has the right to produce evidence of legitimate business expenses, obligations, and liabilities, including but not limited to, employee payroll expenses verified by current reemployment assistance records, employee workers’ compensation insurance, employee health insurance, state and federal taxes, and regulatory or licensing fees only as may become due before the expiration of the temporary order.
4. Upon determination by the court that the expenses are valid, payment of such expenses may be effected by the owner of the enjoined monetary instruments or funds only to the court-ordered payees through court-reviewed checks, issued by the owner of, and the person or entity in possession of, the enjoined monetary instruments or funds. Upon presentment, the person or entity in possession of the enjoined funds or monetary instruments shall only honor the payment of the check to the court-ordered payee.
(h) Only the lawful owner or the account holder of the monetary instruments or funds being enjoined may request a hearing to contest the order entered pursuant to this section by petitioning the court that issued the order. A hearing must be held within 3 days after the request or as soon as practicable thereafter and before the expiration of the temporary order. The hearing must be set and noticed by the lawful owner of the monetary instruments or funds or his or her attorney. Notice of the hearing must be provided to the petitioner who procured the temporary injunction pursuant to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure but not less than 24 hours before the scheduled hearing. The court may receive and consider at a hearing held pursuant to this subsection, evidence and information that would be inadmissible under the Florida Rules of Evidence. A proceeding under this subsection is governed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
(9)(a) The petitioner may request issuance of a warrant authorizing the seizure of property, monetary instruments, or funds subject to civil forfeiture in the same manner as provided for search warrants in chapter 933.
(b) Any financial institution that receives a seizure warrant pursuant to paragraph (a), temporary injunction, or other court order, may deduct from the account the funds necessary to pay any electronic transaction or check presented for payment where the electronic transaction was initiated or the check deposited prior to the time the seizure order was served on the financial institution.
(10) Any financial institution, licensed money services business, or other person served with and complying with the terms of a warrant, temporary injunction, or other court order, including any subpoena issued under s. 16.56 or s. 27.04, obtained in furtherance of an investigation of any crime in this section, including any crime listed as specified unlawful activity under this section or any felony violation of chapter 560, has immunity from criminal liability and is not liable to any person for any lawful action taken in complying with the warrant, temporary injunction, or other court order, including any subpoena issued under s. 16.56 or s. 27.04. If any subpoena issued under s. 16.56 or s. 27.04 contains a nondisclosure provision, any financial institution, licensed money services business, employee or officer of a financial institution or licensed money services business, or any other person may not notify, directly or indirectly, any customer of that financial institution or money services business whose records are being sought by the subpoena, or any other person named in the subpoena, about the existence or the contents of that subpoena or about information that has been furnished to the state attorney or statewide prosecutor who issued the subpoena or other law enforcement officer named in the subpoena in response to the subpoena.
(11) In any prosecution brought pursuant to this chapter, the common law corpus delicti rule does not apply. The defendant’s confession or admission is admissible during trial without the state’s having to prove the corpus delicti if the court finds in a hearing conducted outside the presence of the jury that the defendant’s confession or admission is trustworthy. Before the court admits the defendant’s confession or admission, the state must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that there is sufficient corroborating evidence that tends to establish the trustworthiness of the statement by the defendant. Hearsay evidence is admissible during the presentation of evidence at the hearing. In making its determination, the court may consider all relevant corroborating evidence, including the defendant’s statements.
History.ss. 34, 35, 36, ch. 87-243; s. 1, ch. 90-246; s. 74, ch. 91-282; s. 207, ch. 92-303; s. 81, ch. 94-209; s. 8, ch. 96-252; s. 9, ch. 96-260; s. 6, ch. 97-78; s. 18, ch. 2000-360; s. 49, ch. 2003-36; s. 9, ch. 2004-391; s. 11, ch. 2005-209; s. 6, ch. 2006-168; s. 52, ch. 2008-177; s. 82, ch. 2012-30; s. 11, ch. 2013-2.
896.102 Currency more than $10,000 received in trade or business; report required; noncompliance penalties.
(1) All persons engaged in a trade or business, except for those financial institutions that report to the Office of Financial Regulation pursuant to s. 655.50, who receive more than $10,000 in currency, including foreign currency, in one transaction, or who receive this amount through two or more related transactions, must complete and file with the Department of Revenue the information required pursuant to 26 U.S.C. s. 6050I., concerning returns relating to currency received in trade or business. Any person who willfully fails to comply with the reporting requirements of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, or by a fine not exceeding $250,000 or twice the value of the amount of the currency transaction involved, whichever is greater, or by both such imprisonment and fine. For a second or subsequent conviction of a violation of the provisions of this subsection, the maximum fine that may be imposed is $500,000 or quintuple the value of the amount of the currency transaction involved, whichever is greater.
(2) The Department of Revenue shall enforce compliance with the provisions of subsection (1) and is to be the custodian of all information and documents filed pursuant to subsection (1). Such information and documents are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution; however, the department must provide any report filed under this section, or information contained therein, to federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies, to the Department of Financial Services, and to the Office of Financial Regulation, and the information is subject to disclosure pursuant to subpoena as provided in s. 213.053(9).
(3) The Department of Revenue may adopt rules and guidelines to administer and enforce these reporting requirements.
History.ss. 31, 33, ch. 87-243; s. 18, ch. 88-381; s. 1, ch. 94-187; s. 433, ch. 96-406; s. 29, ch. 98-342; s. 1917, ch. 2003-261; s. 8, ch. 2006-85.
896.103 Transaction which constitutes separate offense.Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for purposes of this section and ss. 896.101 and 896.102, each individual currency transaction exceeding $10,000 which is made in violation of the provisions of s. 896.102(1) or each financial transaction in violation of the provisions of s. 896.101(3) which involves the movement of funds in excess of $10,000 shall constitute a separate, punishable offense.
History.s. 32, ch. 87-243; s. 19, ch. 2000-360.
896.104 Structuring transactions to evade reporting or registration requirements prohibited.
(1) DEFINITIONS.For purposes of this section, the terms “structure” or “structuring” mean that a person, acting alone, or in conjunction with, or on behalf of, other persons, 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, in any manner, for the purpose of evading currency transaction reporting requirements provided by state or federal law. “In any manner” includes, but is not limited to, the breaking down of a single sum of currency exceeding $10,000 into smaller sums, including sums at or below $10,000, or the conduct of a transaction, or series of currency transactions, at or below $10,000. The transaction or transactions need not exceed the $10,000 reporting threshold at any single financial institution on any single day in order to meet the definition of “structure” or “structuring” provided in this subsection.
(2) DOMESTIC COIN AND CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS.A person may not, for the purpose of evading the reporting and registration requirements of chapter 560, chapter 655, or this chapter, or 31 U.S.C. s. 5313(a) or s. 5325, or any rules or regulations adopted under those chapters and sections, when some portion of the activity by that person occurs in this state:
(a) Cause or attempt to cause a person or financial institution in this state to fail to file an applicable report or registration required under those chapters and sections or any rule or regulation adopted under any of those chapters and sections;
(b) Cause or attempt to cause a person or financial institution in this state to file an applicable report required under those chapters and sections or any rule or regulation adopted under those chapters and sections which contains a material omission or misstatement of fact; or
(c) Structure or assist in structuring, or attempt to structure or assist in structuring, any financial transaction with or involving one or more financial institutions in this state.
(3) INTERNATIONAL MONETARY INSTRUMENT TRANSACTIONS.A person may not, for the purpose of evading the reporting or registration requirements of chapter 560, chapter 655, or this chapter, or 31 U.S.C. s. 5316, when some portion of the activity by that person occurs in this state:
(a) Fail to file an applicable registration or report required by those chapters and sections, or cause or attempt to cause a person to fail to file such a report;
(b) File or cause or attempt to cause a person to file an applicable registration or report required under those chapters and sections which contains a material omission or misstatement of fact; or
(c) Structure or assist in structuring, or attempt to structure or assist in structuring, any importation or exportation of currency or monetary instruments or funds to, from, or through financial institutions in this state.
(4) CRIMINAL PENALTIES.
(a) A person who violates this section, if the violation involves:
1. Financial transactions exceeding $300 but less than $20,000 in any 12-month period, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
2. Financial transactions totaling or exceeding $20,000 but less than $100,000 in any 12-month period, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
3. Financial transactions totaling or exceeding $100,000 in any 12-month period, commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) In addition to the penalties authorized by s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, a person who has been found guilty of or who has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to having violated this section may be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $250,000 or twice the value of the financial transactions, whichever is greater, except that for a second or subsequent violation of this section, the fine may be up to $500,000 or quintuple the value of the financial transactions, whichever is greater.
(c) A person who violates this section is also liable for a civil penalty of not more than the value of the financial transactions involved or $25,000, whichever is greater.
(5) INFERENCE.Proof that a person engaged for monetary consideration in the business of a money transmitter, as defined in s. 560.103, and who is transporting more than $10,000 in currency, or the foreign equivalent, without being licensed as a money transmitter or designated as an authorized vendor under chapter 560, gives rise to an inference that the transportation was done with knowledge of the licensure requirements of chapter 560 and the reporting requirements of this chapter.
(6) CONSTRUCTION.This section may not be construed to require any new or additional reporting requirements on any entity obligated to file reports under state or federal law.
History.s. 20, ch. 2000-360; s. 1918, ch. 2003-261; s. 53, ch. 2008-177.
896.105 Penalty provisions not applicable to law enforcement.The penalty provisions of this chapter, including those directed at reporting violations or the conduct or attempted conduct of unlawful financial transactions, the unlawful transportation or attempted transportation of monetary instruments, and the concealment of unlawful proceeds or their ownership are not applicable to law enforcement officers who engage in aspects of such activity for bona fide authorized undercover law enforcement purposes in the course of or in relation to an active criminal investigation, active criminal intelligence gathering, or active prosecution.
History.s. 21, ch. 2000-360.
896.106 Fugitive disentitlement.A person may not use the resources of the courts of this state in furtherance of a claim in any related civil forfeiture action or a claim in a third-party proceeding in any related forfeiture action if that person purposely leaves the jurisdiction of this state or the United States; declines to enter or reenter this state to submit to its jurisdiction; or otherwise evades the jurisdiction of the court in which a criminal case is pending against the person.
History.s. 22, ch. 2000-360.
896.107 Rewards for informants.
(1) A law enforcement agency conducting any investigation of a violation of this chapter may pay a reward to an individual who provides original information that leads to a recovery of a criminal fine, civil penalty, or forfeiture.
(2) The law enforcement agency shall determine the amount of a reward under this section. The law enforcement agency may not pay more than the amount of reward authorized for similar activity by any federal law or guideline in effect at the time the information described in subsection (1) was provided.
(3) An officer or employee of the United States, a state or local government, or a foreign government who in the performance of official duties provides information described in subsection (1) is not eligible for a reward under this section.
(4) Payment of a reward does not affect the admissibility of testimony in any court proceeding.
History.s. 23, ch. 2000-360.
896.108 Rewards for private entities combating international money laundering.
(1) In conducting any investigation of a violation of this chapter, the Department of Law Enforcement may enter into agreements and pay a reward to any individual or entity who provides original information that leads to a recovery of a criminal fine, civil penalty, or forfeiture based in whole or in part upon a violation of federal law or the laws of this state.
(2) The executive director of the Department of Law Enforcement shall determine the amount of a reward under this section. The executive director, with written approval of the Office of the Attorney General, may exceed the limits of rewards provided in s. 896.107, when the criminal fine, civil penalty, or forfeiture amount received by the state warrants an upward departure from such limits. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, rewards paid under this section shall be paid only from seized assets awarded by the court. Funds seized by the Department of Law Enforcement pursuant to this chapter shall be placed in the department’s Forfeiture and Investigative Support Trust Fund established by s. 943.362, or for funds secured through the federal forfeiture actions in the Federal Law Enforcement Trust Fund established by s. 943.365, excluding any rewards paid as provided in this section.
(3) An officer or employee of the Federal Government, a state or local government, or a foreign government who in the performance of official duties provides information described in subsection (1) is not eligible for a reward under this section.
(4) Payment of a reward does not affect the admissibility of testimony in any court proceeding.
History.s. 14, ch. 2009-242.