Here’s what happens if you deposit too much money in your bank account

Ground Picture/ShutterStock @alexisanddean/TikTok (Licensed)

‘This is how the government keep the broke people broke’: Here’s what happens if you deposit too much money in your bank account

'There's narratives out there that the bank's watching you.'


Parks Kugle


Posted on Feb 23, 2024   Updated on Feb 23, 2024, 5:03 pm CST

A TikToker recently went viral when she posted a video of her expert husband explaining what happens when someone deposits $10,000 or more into the bank.

User Alexis and Dean (@alexisanddean) garnered 3.5 million views and 79,000 likes as of publication with their informative video.

The clip began with a text overlay reading: “What happens if you deposit more than $10K into your bank account?”

Then Alexis asked Dean, “I’ve heard that you’re not allowed to deposit $10,000 at any given time. Is that true?”

The couple runs a financial advice startup.

“Not allowed? That’s not true… So in any federally regulated bank there’s this thing called a CTR, a Currency Transaction Report… It’s just a report that just gets sent, but it’s just to track currency transactions,” Dean explained.

Currency Transaction Reports are designed to prevent criminals from laundering money. These reports help keep track of deposits of $10,000 in cash, so checks and wire transfers aren’t affected. Primarily used to track drug dealers and criminal organizations, this measure was expanded with the USA Patriot Act to include terroristic activity.

CTRs are mandatory for cash transactions of $10,000 or more.

To evade detection, criminals usually attempt to break up their money into smaller amounts and spread their deposits among multiple people or over the course of many days. A practice called structuring. Since this is a common practice, banks are also required to treat multiple transactions in a 24-hour period as a single transaction.

“…There’s narratives out there that the bank’s watching you. The government’s watching what you do is what we call a SAR inside banking, which is a Suspicious Activity Report. All of this usually begins with anti-money laundering,” Dean continued. “It’s how the U.S. government, law enforcement agencies, through the banks try to stop money laundering.”

“The bottom line is this: if you’re not doing anything illegal or participating in anything illegal, go about your business. If you have a lot of cash to deposit, go about your business,” he concluded.

Users added their own two cents to the discussion, elaborating on these transactions.

“Never deposit 10k or more at one time because it has to be reported to the Government or withdraw 10k or more,” one user advised.

“I deposited 22k into my credit union account, they gave me immediate access to 10k and held the remaining 12k for 7 days. This is normal,” a second added.

Others pointed out that innocent people have had their assets frozen or seized for depositing large sums of cash.

“And a bunch of transactions near $10K will get the FBI to come after you for structuring, even though it’s legal, they hold your money for years,” a user said.

“Then the IRS comes to audit you even though you aren’t doing anything illegal,” another agreed.

Innocent people have faced legal ramifications over the accusation of structuring. For example, the IRS seized roughly $70,000 from South Mountain Creamery’s bank account, a dairy farm in Middletown, Maryland, under suspicions of structuring. Eventually, a settlement was reached, but the farm was forced to forfeit almost $30,000 to the government.

@alexisanddean What happens when you deposit more than $10,000 into your bank account? #SAR #CTR #bank #banker #finance #financialliteracy #finance101 #money #commercialbanking #banking #moneylaundering #suspiciousactivity ♬ original sound – Alexis and Dean

According to a report from the Treasury Department, the IRS seized millions from small business and individual bank accounts in its efforts to tamp down on money laundering. Using a random sample of 278 IRS forfeiture cases, the report also found that 91% of businesses or people with their assets seized earned their money legitimately.

Banks can also freeze accounts without government involvement. For example, a woman claimed her bank froze her account due to an internal investigation and refused to give her a solid timeline on when she could access her funds.

The Daily Dot reached out to Alexis and Dean via email for further information.

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*First Published: Feb 23, 2024, 6:00 pm CST