The Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA) has released the following Press Release concerning coin dealers and Shelter in Place orders. Throughout the United States, many states and local governments have issued Shelter in Place orders to combat the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. In short, dealers need to read the language of the orders from their state and local governments but likely are not exempt.
ICTA has been contacted by many members who are requesting information on whether dealers may be exempt from “stay at home” orders, based upon the dealer inclusion in Section 352 of the Patriot Act.
ICTA’s executive director, Jimmy Hayes, was an author of the Louisiana Bank Code and a former commissioner of financial institutions. Under Jimmy’s guidance we are advising dealers that “stay at home” executive orders from governors and mayors are currently being issued under their state-authorized powers. It is essential for each dealer to determine what their own state or city has issued and carefully read the exemption language.
Several of those who contacted ICTA had been told that their compliance with the money-laundering requirements of the Patriot Act somehow gave them the status of a “financial institution” or similar banking or lending institution.
This is not correct. Section 352 defines a financial institution under the Bank Secrecy Act SOLELY TO DETERMINE WHAT BUSINESSES ARE REQUIRED TO FOLLOW THE MONEY-LAUNDERING PROVISIONS. This definition is limited to money-laundering purposes and does not make, say, a bullion dealer a financial institution for any other purpose.
Any state order that refers only to “banks, financial institutions, etc.” would require that those seeking an exemption are defined as such institutions under state law.
The bottom line is that the definition is up to the state issuing the executive order, and that no provision of federal law dealing with money laundering or other activities applies.