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View Diary: Gigantic Journalistic Investigation Begins Ripping Mask Off Bank Secrecy (89 comments)

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  •  Of course governments can go looking for crimes (14+ / 0-)

    They do it all the time, most commonly in drug offenses. There are limits on where they can look (on the street, fine; inside my house, not without probable cause or a 911 call) and how they can look. But they do not need to wait for someone to complain.

    In the case of banking and money crimes, governments have laws such as requiring reporting of movements of more than $10,000, and tax forms that require disclosure of all your income no matter where it's located. In order to hide or launder money, a person ends up violating one or the other of those -- and the IRS and the banking regulators definitely have the authority to go looking.

    That's what got Elliot Spitzer in trouble, among others.

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