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Old 06-30-2019, 09:38 AM
Nars Glinley is offline
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Did I unwittingly help someone launder money?


Several months ago, I purchased some furniture from a furniture store for my parents. It was a very stressful time for all of us as we were in the process of moving them into an assisted living facility. I wasn't paying attention to details like I should have. I paid for the furniture myself and took a picture of the receipt in case they ever got into a position to repay me.

Now that I've looked at the receipt, it looks really weird.

All of the items are listed properly with the correct amounts but then is says:

Payments received on sale:
Cash 157,696.11-
Visa/MC 159,289.00

Total payments 1,592.89

I didn't notice at the time. The Visa slip that I signed was for the correct amount.

Is there anyway that this isn't some kind of illegal activity?
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:34 AM
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The cash listed amount is exactly 1% lower than the charge amount. Possibly there was a cash discount of 1% which you could have taken but did not.

Last edited by OldGuy; 06-30-2019 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:38 AM
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Hmmm on second thought I'm guessing you paid only 1592.89 on Mastercharge, corerct?
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:01 AM
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Hmmm on second thought I'm guessing you paid only 1592.89 on Mastercharge, corerct?
That is correct.
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:17 AM
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Could it just be a simple correction? That's what I would assume. I'm guessing somebody typed in 159289 and hit the "00" button instinctively, realized their error, then corrected it with the minus cash amount before charging your VISA. Or something like that.
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:02 AM
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Check your credit card twice

On the face of it, somebody deposited $157,696 in cash into your account, then made a withdrawal of $159,289. Your CC account presumably only showed the difference, but their cash register record showed the $157,696, which. if anybody asks, could be used to explain the extra $150K of cash which turned up that day.

Of course, if anybody asks, they may have to explain what they sold you for $159K.

I think that the finger-fumble explanation is more likely, but I'm neither a check-out-clerk nor a terrorist
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Could it just be a simple correction? That's what I would assume. I'm guessing somebody typed in 159289 and hit the "00" button instinctively, realized their error, then corrected it with the minus cash amount before charging your VISA. Or something like that.
This sounds most likely to me, too. Their not-super-modern cash register isn't electronically linked to the credit card machine, and the checkout person has to run the credit card machine, then manually type the amount of the charge into the cash register. They put the right amount into the Visa machine, but when they put the amount paid by Visa into the cash register, they accidentally added two zeros and rather than do it the proper way (erase and correct it), they just put in a negative cash amount to get the right balance of zero.

I'd still double-check my Visa statement, but I doubt that J. Random clerk is doing a sophisticated money-laundering scheme. It's not like it would hold up very long if anyone looked at it. "According to the cash register receipts, you had negative fifteen thousand dollars in the drawer at the end of the shift. We're just curious what that looked like."
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
This sounds most likely to me, too. Their not-super-modern cash register isn't electronically linked to the credit card machine, and the checkout person has to run the credit card machine, then manually type the amount of the charge into the cash register. They put the right amount into the Visa machine, but when they put the amount paid by Visa into the cash register, they accidentally added two zeros and rather than do it the proper way (erase and correct it), they just put in a negative cash amount to get the right balance of zero.
It's possible that the clerk didn't even notice their error. By hitting "sale" or "end transaction" or whatever, the machine just calculated the difference and called it "cash" in place of "change" or "cash back" or whatever.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:25 AM
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Thanks Dopers. Hopefully it was just a careless fat-fingering and nothing nefarious. I hadn't even noticed that the amount was exactly 100x the actual purchase price. I have checked my CC statement and there were no $150K entries.

But as a computer professional, I must say that whatever their system is, it's pretty crappy inasmuch as it either doesn't allow for manual deletions/corrections or it makes them on its own with ridiculous looking values.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:37 AM
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  #11  
Old 07-02-2019, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Could it just be a simple correction? That's what I would assume. I'm guessing somebody typed in 159289 and hit the "00" button instinctively, realized their error, then corrected it with the minus cash amount before charging your VISA. Or something like that.
I'm guessing something along those lines.
A common mistake on a cash register: The total is 19.50, you hand the cashier a 20 dollar bill and they type on $200.00, it's just one extra zero, but it shows the change as $180.50 instead of $0.50.
I've told many of my cashiers over the years that that doesn't matter. The register expects $19.50 and you put $19.50 in it. The main reason you enter the amount they give you is so it can do the math for you and tell you how much to give them as change. As long as you properly did the math in your head, it's fine.

If it makes you feel any better, you could certainly call them about it. We get people doing that here from time to time, for nearly the exact same reason.

In your case, the total was 1592.89, the entered 159,289.00 for the amount you gave them and it told them to hand you 157,696.11 as change. The math works, it was a mistake. I don't see a way for them to steal anything.
If they wanted to steal money, there's better ways to do it that won't show up in a place that may cause a customer to call about it.
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Old 07-02-2019, 12:15 PM
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It's not a workable way to launder money. Your invoice or bill of sale wasn't for the higher amount. If someone were using a furniture store to launder money, they would have to be able to show higher than actual sales. Maybe they could do it through a mark-up that would show on your receipt, but maybe you're an IRS or State taxation employee, better to show fake sales and fake inventory purchases that no one outside of the company would have documentation for.
  #13  
Old 07-02-2019, 12:28 PM
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It's not a workable way to launder money. Your invoice or bill of sale wasn't for the higher amount. ...
Yes. Altho it could be a number of things, and "correction" is the most likely, it is not Money Laundering. I am a certified expert in that field.
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:33 PM
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Yes. Altho it could be a number of things, and "correction" is the most likely, it is not Money Laundering. I am a certified expert in that field.
What body certifies expert money launderers?
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:42 PM
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What body certifies expert money launderers?
CAMS.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:08 PM
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I was going to say IPDL,..
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:58 AM
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Good to know. I had know idea that was a thing.
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:01 AM
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CAMS.

Reported. Went to Cams.com and found nothing having to do with money laundering.
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:59 PM
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Reported. Went to Cams.com and found nothing having to do with money laundering.
Because clearly, any acronym needs to have a .com website with that exact acronym as the name, and there can never be more than one. They're referring to https://www.acams.org/aml-certifications/
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:09 PM
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Because clearly, any acronym needs to have a .com website with that exact acronym as the name, and there can never be more than one. They're referring to https://www.acams.org/aml-certifications/
I'm hoping that it was a whoosh.
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:17 PM
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Because clearly, any acronym needs to have a .com website with that exact acronym as the name, and there can never be more than one. They're referring to https://www.acams.org/aml-certifications/
Did that URL suggest anywhere nearby to get a sarcasm meter adjusted?
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