Credit Card Transactions, GoFundMe Campaigns: FBI Is Following the Money to Capitol Hill Attackers
Each year, the Federal Reserve Bank reports on the amount of currency in circulation, and each year, the $100 bill leads the list. For 2019, the most recent year reported, there were $1.42 trillion Benjamins in circulation — and $9.5 billion $20 bills. Although Americans don’t use $100 bills much, they are in demand as the world’s currency for criminal activity.
The Jalisco New Generation Cartel doesn’t use credit cards. Also, they weren’t traveling to Washington to attack the Capitol. The FBI’s investigation of the Capitol incident includes looking at financial evidence. The Verge reports that the FBI has already received 100,000 pieces of digital evidence to sift through. While much of this is related to social media posts, it includes financial transactions. Credit card records can show where people traveled, helping to locate and identify some attackers.
Others launched GoFundMe campaigns to raise money for their trips to Washington, making the FBI’s job even easier. BuzzFeed News identified 12 GoFundMe projects related to the Jan. 6 protests, including one that raised $21,548 from 285 donors. It did not reach its $50,000 goal, however.
There are many benefits to a cashless economy, mostly related to a reduction in crime. On one level, store clerks don’t have to worry about being held up if they only have a point-of-sale terminal instead of a cash drawer. However, there is a loss of privacy, because it is much easier to identify where you were and what you were doing based on your transaction history. The Capitol attackers are finding this out the hard way.
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