Money-Laundering Alert: Watch for $100 BillsIntroduction of New $100 Bill May Lead to Laundering of Old Cash In Feb. 2011, there will be a new $100 bill introduced in the U.S. Recently, the Treasury Department announced the new bill will arrive at financial institutions with improved anti-counterfeiting additions.
Before the new $100 bill arrives, be mindful that criminals will look to launder their old caches of $100 bills, says anti-money laundering expert Ken Rijock, financial crime consultant for World-Check, an international risk intelligence firm.
Narcotics traffickers keep a percentage of their money in large denomination bills, he explains. "When they see that a new bill is coming out, I expect that they will begin converting their large cash holdings into bank deposits."
Rijock warns compliance officers to be on the watch for large amounts of the old series. "Because once the new bills come out," Rijock says, "any amount of these old series bills will draw attention to them, because the bank will want to know 'Where did you get all of these old hundreds from?'"
At the very least, compliance officers will want to take note of the deposits, and where warranted, file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) on the transaction, Rijock says.
Even non-banks that take cash transactions should be on the lookout for these old bills. People buying large ticket such as luxury cars or high end items in cash, especially when paying with hundred dollar bills, should be scrutinized as possible money launderers, Rijock says. Approximately $6.5 billion of the old $100 bills remain in circulation, according to Treasury estimates.