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A survey done in 2011 by the FDIC reveals an irregular new trend amongst Californians. It seems as though more and more people are choosing to be “Unbanked.” Though there is a clear trend of youth and low income in the unbanked statistics, the real reason people are choosing to become bank free, is unclear. “I think the young people might just want to have their money on hand, and not have to visit the bank,” said Claudia Castaneda, Branch Manager of the Borrego Springs Bank. “It could be that parents aren’t talking to their children about bank accounts, or opening one up for them and showing them how to bank.” These are simple and obvious answers to our question. But there are others. Branch Manager Castaneda’s first thought to the question is it is possible that all the fraud recently scares people away. Banks and computers are awash these days with fraud by both criminals, and governments. Randy Sowers is the co-owner of South Mountain Creamery, a staple amongst Baltimore farmer’s markets. In 2012 the IRS used a Federal Anti-Money-Laundering statute to seize nearly $70,000 from the South Mountain Creamery bank account. The IRS reported that Sowers purposefully broke up the deposits to be under $10,001, to evade the bank having to file a report with the federal government per the deposit. This is known as ‘Structuring’. Sowers maintains that he made the deposits according to the order in which they were earned. Sowers does not expect his money to be returned. These cases are spiking all over the country, Maryland is a clear example. In the last five years the number of Maryland structuring cases has risen over 57%. In 2010 three liquor store owners in Maryland were indicted on structuring charges. In 2011 a Baltimore East Shore produce stand had $90,000 seized by the IRS. The cases go on and on. Penalties are becoming steeper for these indictments. While some face pesky over-drafts or checks bouncing, others are sentenced to jail time for “tax evasion.” In the past, and still, these structuring statutes have been used to identify crimes such as money laundering for drug dealing, or other illegal activities. But many of these new cases have no other connected crimes. In persons with an annual household income of less than $15,000, 25.2% of people are unbanked. In a household where the income is equal to or greater than $75,000, 0.3% of people are unbanked. Ages fifteen to thirty four are 23.1% unbanked, while Californians age sixty five and older are only 2.6% unbanked. 92.2% of Californians have bank accounts. With the ease of direct deposit for your paychecks, billing online, and credit cards banks have many advantages. The regular American accepts concepts like interest rates and twenty-four-hour holds. They have become a way of life. But not for everyone. The young and not-so-rich surely fear interest rates, over-draft fees, and holds. But there are many underlying uncertainties in the banking world. The reason any one person chooses to be free of banks, young, old, rich, or poor, is their own. But if this trend continues amongst the youth of the nation, banks might be in for unexpected problems in the future.