Paying in cash can be quick and convenient, but it can also come with risk. Someone who routinely handles large amounts of money as part of their business could be at higher risk than others for a robbery. They could also be vulnerable to losses if they receive counterfeit bills and then try to deposit those at a bank.
Of course, dealing in large amounts of cash doesn’t just increase your risk of becoming the victim of a crime. It could also put you at greater risk for a financial investigation or criminal charges, especially if you make repeated, large deposits to a bank account.
Banks and the federal government track cash deposits
Conducting business solely in cash is a way to avoid scrutiny when it comes to how you earn or report what you make to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for taxation purposes. However, if you want to spend that money on anything other than impulse purchases, you will probably need to deposit it in a bank account first.
Cash transactions have a strong association with illicit trade, including prostitution and drug trafficking. Banks must reports to the federal government about a single deposit of $10,000 or more or multiple related deposits within a 24-hour window of time that total $10,000 or more.
Attempts to trick or manipulate the system could lead to additional scrutiny. If you try to stagger multiple deposits to avoid reporting them or misrepresent how you earned that cash on the required forms for large deposits, then you could face criminal charges.
Anyone facing allegations of drug crimes or white-collar offenses like money laundering related to cash deposits could face lengthy prison sentences. It’s imperative that you put up a strong defense in your case to minimize the chances of that happening.