United States Flag
Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

Report Crimes: Email or Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE

mobile search image

Project STAMP


  • Email icon
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Print icon

Project STAMP shuts down human smuggling/trafficking organizations by identifying and seizing assets, monies and proceeds derived or used in support of criminal activity.

Legislative Authorities

Penalties for violating the money laundering statutes (Title 18, U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) are significant and include fines of up to $500,000 and/or imprisonment up to 20 years. Furthermore, any property, real or personal (or traceable to such property), involved in a transaction or attempted transaction is subject to forfeiture.

Federal laws permit law enforcement to charge individuals involved in smuggling, peonage, slavery and human trafficking with money laundering violations. These enhanced penalties can be an important determining factor for an assistant U.S. attorney when deciding whether or not to federally prosecute human trafficking/smuggling violators.

Partnerships with the Financial Sector

The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requires financial institutions in the United States to assist federal government agencies in the detection and prevention of money laundering. Financial institutions must report suspicious activity that might signify money laundering or other criminal activities. Doing so assists ICE in initiating new criminal investigations and identifying people, bank accounts and assets associated with criminal organizations. 

Indicators of suspicious activity include:

  • Numerous BSA filings by multiple financial institutions.
  • Large cash deposits inconsistent with business type.
  • Large payments to foreign companies that are inconsistent with the amount of product received from these companies.
  • Unusual withdrawal, deposit or wire activity inconsistent with normal business practices, or dramatic and unexplained change in account activity.
  • Sudden change in customer’s normal business practices, i.e., dramatic increase in deposits, withdrawals or wealth.
  • Structuring financial transactions at money service businesses (MSBs) (multiple financial transactions structured under the $3,000 MSB’s reporting limit on the same day).
  • Numerous incoming wire transfers or personal checks deposited into business accounts with no apparent legitimate purpose.

How You Can Help

Protecting America is more than just a responsibility for government agencies; it’s a shared mission for all Americans. The importance of private sector partnership in this shared mission cannot be overstated. There are several ways individuals and businesses can help:

  • Partner - Become a private sector partner with ICE HSI by contacting your local ICE HSI Special Agent in Charge office and arranging a Cornerstone presentation for your business or organization;
  • Report - Report suspicious financial, commercial or trade activity by contacting your local ICE HSI Special Agent in Charge office, or by calling 1-866-DHS-2-ICE; and
  • Subscribe - Sign up for ICE HSI’s quarterly newsletter, The Cornerstone Report, for new developments in financial and trade fraud crimes.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/03/2018