By Rob Rowe
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), in coordination with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida (SDFL), issued a Geographic Targeting Order (GTO) for South Florida, requiring check cashers to ask for additional identifying information about customers cashing tax refund checks over $1,000. “This GTO will help ensure that the perpetrators of these schemes can no longer hide their face while our national treasury is looted and innocent victims spend countless hours and personal expense working with government to reclaim their true identities,” said FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery.
FinCEN’s Order is in response to the high number of stolen identity tax refund fraud cases in South Florida. Check cashers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are required to comply with these requirements from August 3, 2015 through January 30, 2016. FinCEN, the IRS, and the SDFL believe that identity thieves are more likely to perpetrate their schemes outside of tax filing season when financial institutions are less likely to enforce anti-money laundering controls.