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Slang for the practice of dividing a large transaction into numerous much smaller transactions, usually for the purpose of laundering money. Because the individual payments are below the threshold at which financial institutions are required to report them, the attention of regulatory and law-enforcement agencies can often be avoided in this way. Owing to the threat of international terrorism, however, banks have become increasingly alert to any suspicious pattern of activity. The name alludes to the small identical-looking cartoon characters, the Smurfs. A more formal term is structuring a deposit.

Subjects: Financial Institutions and Services — Accounting.

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