(1) A person may not engage in the business of a money services business or deferred presentment provider in this state unless the person is licensed or exempted from licensure under this chapter.
(2) Only a money services business licensed under part II of this chapter may appoint an authorized vendor. Any person acting as a vendor for an unlicensed money transmitter or payment instrument issuer becomes the principal thereof, and no longer merely acts as a vendor, and is liable to the holder or remitter as a principal money transmitter or payment instrument seller.
(3) Any person whose substantial interests are affected by a proceeding brought by the office pursuant to this chapter may, pursuant to s. 560.113, petition any court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin the person or activity that is the subject of the proceeding from violating any of the provisions of this section. For the purpose of this subsection, any money services business licensed under this chapter, any person residing in this state, and any person whose principal place of business is in this state are presumed to be substantially affected. In addition, the interests of a trade organization or association are deemed substantially affected if the interests of any of its members are affected.
(4) The office may issue and serve upon any person who violates any of the provisions of this section a complaint seeking a cease and desist order or impose an administrative fine as provided in s. 560.114.
(5) A person who violates this section, if the violation involves:
(a) 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.
(b) 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.
(c) 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.
(6) In addition to the penalties authorized by s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, a person who has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, having violated this section may be sentenced to pay a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the value of the currency or payment instruments, whichever is greater, except that on a second or subsequent violation of this section, the fine may be up to $500,000 or quintuple the value of the currency or payment instruments, 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 currency or payment instruments involved or $25,000, whichever is greater.
(8) 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. 9, ch. 2000-360; s. 705, ch. 2003-261; s. 20, ch. 2008-177.