IRA Financial’s Adam Bergman discusses the Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) linked to Donald Trump and Jared Kushner and when SARS are usually filed.
Once again, Suspicious Activity Reports, or SARs, are back in the news thanks to Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. You may remember the same thing happening before, relating to the alleged payoff by Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels. In his latest podcast, IRA Financial’s Adam Bergman discusses the latest situation involving President Trump and what exactly SARs are.
Trump, Kushner and SARS
According to a recent New York Times report:
“Anti-money-laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.”
However, Deutsche Bank executives decided against filing the suspicious activity reports to the government. One can argue that they didn’t want to lose out on Trump’s and Kushner’s business. However, it could just be that they felt the transactions didn’t warrant a SARS. Both President Trump’s and Mr. Kushner’s reps have denied any wrongdoing.
It’s important note that there is no accusation of wrongdoing here. Certain transactions stand out as they may look like something illegal is going on (such as money laundering). Further, since the reports were never filed, Trump and Kushner probably weren’t even aware of them. At this time, the government has subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for President Trump’s records; the Trump family then sued the bank to not comply with those subpoenas.
What is a Suspicious Activity Report?
Financial institutions, such as Deutsche Bank, are responsible for filing SARs. If any type of transaction(s) seem peculiar, the bank is required to look into it and decide if further action is necessary. Most of the time, after investigating the matter, nothing comes of it. The transaction was completely legit. However, there are times when illegal activity is detected. As mentioned, there could be money laundering, but fraud and terrorist funding are real concerns as well. The rules have become much more strict following the September 11 attacks.
Not only do SARs protect the financial institution, they’re imperative for protecting the country as well. Not all reports stem from nefarious activities. Many come about from large financial gains. If you were to make an investment and then, all of a sudden, it’s worth 100x more, that is suspicious and a SAR may be filed.
Listen to this – Episode 137: What Stormy Daniels And An IRA Custodian Have In Common
Again, we want to make this very clear, just because a SAR was filed, doesn’t mean you actually did anything wrong. They’re akin to Insider Trading. If you invest in a stock and it blows up, you might be a smart (and very lucky) investor. However, if you had prior knowledge about the stock, expect a visit from the SEC!
Why Do We Care?
IRA Financial deals with retirement plans, so why do we care about SARs? Oftentimes, Self-Directed IRAs are used for fraudulent and other illegal activities. If you invest in one, you should be aware that they’re scrutinized just the same as any other types of financial account. Again, don’t be alarmed if a suspicious activity report is filed against you. As long as you didn’t do anything illegal, you have no need to worry.