Smurf

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Smurf'

Colloquial term for a money launderer. Also refers to one who seeks to evade scrutiny from government agencies by breaking up a transaction involving a large amount of money into smaller transactions that are below the reporting threshold. The term is derived from the cartoon characters known as The Smurfs.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Smurf'

In order to prevent money laundering by criminals involved in illegal activities that involve large sums of cash, such as drugs and extortion, countries like the United States and Canada require that a currency transaction report be filed by a financial institution handling a transaction that exceeds $10,000 in cash. Therefore, a criminal group with $50,000 in cash to launder may use several smurfs to deposit anywhere from $5,000 to $9,000 in a number of accounts that are geographically dispersed. This would be below the reporting threshold.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Gazunder

    A colloquial term used in the United Kingdom for the practice ...
  2. Money Laundering

    The process of creating the appearance that large amounts of ...
  3. Anti Money Laundering - AML

    A set of procedures, laws or regulations designed to stop the ...
  4. Currency Transaction Report - CTR

    A bank form used in the United States to help prevent money laundering. ...
  5. Bank Secrecy Act - BSA

    Government legislation that was created in 1970 to prevent financial ...
  6. Suspicious Activity Report - SAR

    One of the tools provided under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) as ...
Related Articles
  1. Brokers

    Top Broker Excuses For Poor Investments

  2. Markets

    What Investors Can Learn From Insider ...

  3. Economics

    Defining Illegal Insider Trading

  4. Retirement

    The Ghouls And Monsters On Wall Street

Hot Definitions
  1. Capitulation

    When investors give up any previous gains in stock price by selling equities in an effort to get out of the market and into ...
  2. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  3. Conduit Issuer

    An organization, usually a government agency, that issues municipal securities to raise capital for revenue-generating projects ...
  4. Financing Entity

    The party in a financing arrangement that provides money, property, or another asset to an intermediate entity or financed ...
  5. Hyperinflation

    Extremely rapid or out of control inflation. There is no precise numerical definition to hyperinflation. Hyperinflation is ...
  6. Gross Rate Of Return

    The total rate of return on an investment before the deduction of any fees or expenses. The gross rate of return is quoted ...
Trading Center