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The Florida Statutes

The 2001 Florida Statutes

Title XXXIII
Regulation Of Trade, Commerce, Investments, And Solicitations
Chapter 560
Money Transmitters' Code
View Entire Chapter
Section 560.123, Florida Statutes 2001

560.123  Florida control of money laundering in the Money Transmitters' Code; reports of transactions involving currency or monetary instruments; when required; purpose; definitions; penalties; corpus delicti.--

(1)  This section may be cited as the "Florida Control of Money Laundering in Money Transmitters Act."

1(2)  It is the purpose of this section to require the submission to the department of reports and the maintenance of certain records of transactions involving currency or monetary instruments which reports and records deter the use of money transmitters to conceal proceeds from criminal activity and are useful in criminal, tax, or regulatory investigations or proceedings.

(a)  Every money transmitter shall keep a record of each financial transaction occurring in this state known to it to involve currency or other monetary instrument, as the department prescribes by rule, of a value in excess of $10,000, to involve the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, or to be designed to evade the reporting requirements of this section or chapter 896 and shall maintain appropriate procedures to ensure compliance with this section and chapter 896.

(b)  Multiple financial transactions shall be treated as a single transaction if the money transmitter has knowledge that they are made by or on behalf of any person and result in either cash in or cash out totaling more than $10,000 during any day.

(c)  Any money transmitter may keep a record of any financial transaction occurring in this state, regardless of the value, if it suspects that the transaction involves the proceeds of specified unlawful activity.

(d)  A money transmitter, or officer, employee, or agent thereof, that files a report in good faith pursuant to this section is not liable to any person for loss or damage caused in whole or in part by the making, filing, or governmental use of the report, or any information contained therein.

(3)  Money transmitters must adhere to the money laundering, enforcement, and reporting provisions of s. 655.50, relating to reports of transactions involving currency transactions and monetary instruments, and of chapter 896, concerning offenses relating to financial transactions.

(4)  In enforcing this section, the department shall acknowledge and take into consideration the requirements of Title 31, United States Code, both to reduce the burden of fulfilling duplicate requirements and to acknowledge the economic advantage of having similar reporting and recordkeeping requirements between state and federal regulatory authorities.

(5)(a)  Each money transmitter must file a report with the department of the record required by this section. Each record filed pursuant to this section must be filed at such time and contain such information as the department requires by rule.

(b)  The timely filing of the report required by 31 U.S.C. s. 5313, with the appropriate federal agency is deemed compliance with the reporting requirements of this subsection unless the reports are not regularly and comprehensively transmitted by the federal agency to the department.

(6)  The department must retain a copy of all reports received under subsection (5) for a minimum of 5 calendar years after receipt of the report. However, if a report or information contained in a report is known by the department to be the subject of an existing criminal proceeding, the report must be retained for a minimum of 10 calendar years from the date of receipt.

(7)  In addition to any other powers conferred upon the department to enforce and administer the code, the department may:

(a)  Bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce or administer this section. In such action, the department may seek award of any civil penalty authorized by law and any other appropriate relief at law or equity.

(b)  Issue and serve upon a person an order requiring such person to cease and desist and take corrective action whenever the department finds that such person is violating, has violated, or is about to violate any provision of this section or chapter 896; any rule or order adopted under this section or chapter 896; or any written agreement related to this section or chapter 896 which is entered into with the department.

(c)  Issue and serve upon a person an order suspending or revoking such person's money transmitter registration whenever the department finds that such person is violating, has violated, or is about to violate any provision of this section or chapter 896; any rule or order adopted under this section or chapter 896; or any written agreement related to this section or chapter 896 which is entered into with the department.

(d)  Issue and serve upon any person an order of removal whenever the department finds that such person is violating, has violated, or is about to violate any provision of this section or chapter 896; any rule or order adopted under this section or chapter 896; or any written agreement related to this section or chapter 896 which is entered into with the department.

(e)  Impose and collect an administrative fine against any person found to have violated any provision of this section or chapter 896; any rule or order adopted under this section or chapter 896; or any written agreement related to this section or chapter 896 which is entered into with the department, in an amount not exceeding $10,000 a day for each willful violation or $500 a day for each negligent violation.

(8)(a)  Except as provided in paragraph (b), a person who willfully violates any provision of this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b)  A person who willfully violates any provision of this section, if the violation involves:

1.  Currency or payment instruments 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.  Currency or payment instruments 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.  Currency or payment instruments 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.

(c)  In addition to the penalties otherwise authorized by s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, a person who has been convicted of or who has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to having violated paragraph (b) may be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $250,000 or twice the value of the currency or payment instruments, whichever is greater, except that on a second or subsequent conviction for or plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a violation of paragraph (b), the fine may be up to $500,000 or quintuple the value of the currency or payment instruments, whichever is greater.

(d)  A person who violates this section is also liable for a civil penalty of not more than the greater of the value of the currency or payment instruments involved or $25,000.

(9)  In any prosecution brought pursuant to this section, the common law corpus delicti rule does not apply. The defendant's confession or admission is admissible during trial without the state 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.--s. 1, ch. 94-238; s. 1, ch. 94-354; s. 8, ch. 2000-360.

1Note.--As enacted by s. 1, ch. 94-238. The introductory paragraph of subsection (2), as enacted by s. 1, ch. 94-354, reads:

(2)  It is the purpose of this section to require submission to the department of certain reports and maintenance of certain records of transactions involving currency or monetary instruments when such reports and records deter the use of money transmitters to conceal the proceeds of criminal activity and have a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax, or regulatory investigations or proceedings.

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