Over the past decade legitimate businesses and organized crime have substantially increased their use of financial institutions in order to circumvent various U.S. laws. In 1969 the covert transfer of proceeds from narcotics trafficking, securities frauds, income tax evasion, S.E.E. margin violations and other illegal activities to secret foreign bank accounts constituted a significant portion of the U.S. balance of trade deficit. Congress responded to this problem by passing the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 which has recently been upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court, and is considering the United States-Switzerland Treaty on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. This Comment will examine the remedial effects of the Bank Secrecy Act and the Treaty by describing their approach to the problems inherent in the covert international transfer of funds, and by analyzing their impact on tax evasion, stock and securities frauds and organized crime.





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