Texas Money Services Crimes: Texas Finance Code §152.408

Texas Criminal Law

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The Texas Money Services Offense law makes it illegal to engage in any money service activities that would require a money services license under Texas law.

The law also establishes a criminal penalty for intentionally making a false statement, misrepresentation, or certification in an money services license application and intentionally making a false entry or omitting a material entry in a money services record or application.

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This new offense was created by the Texas legislature in 2023 and codified at §152.408 of the Texas Finance Code as part of a brand new money services regulation scheme set up by the Texas legislature.

Changes in the money transmission industry have exposed outdated and often conflicting state requirements across the country. The new Texas money services law is the legislature’s attempt to bring Texas in line with national standards. The Texas law borrows language from the Model Money Transmission Modernization Act, created by the board of the National Trade Association and Conference for State Bank Supervisors. The new regulatory scheme provides a set of standards that can be implemented by Texas agencies for domestic and international money transmitters of all sizes.

The Penal Code classifies the Texas Money Services Offense law under Title 3 “Financial Institutions and Businesses,” Chapter 153 “Regulation of Money Services Businesses.” Learn more about the Texas offense of Money Services Offense below.

What is the current Texas criminal law about Money Services?

The new money services criminal offense is codified at Sec. 152.408 of the Texas Finance Code:[1]

(a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) intentionally makes a false statement, misrepresentation, or certification in a record or application filed with the department or required to be maintained under this chapter or a rule adopted or order issued under this chapter, or intentionally makes a false entry or omits a material entry in the record or application; or

(2) knowingly engages in an activity for which a money services license is required under this chapter without being licensed under this chapter.

This new criminal law was created by the 88th Texas Legislature in 2023,[2] effective September 1, 2023.[3]

The statute defines “money services” as “money transmission services or currency exchange services,”[4] which covers a wide swath of fintech activities, including cryptocurrency firms.

How can I be charged with a Money Services Offense offense in Texas?

You can be charged with Money Services Offense in Texas if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of Texas Finance Code §152.408 as described in the section above have been met.

What is the statute of limitation for Money Services Offense in Texas?

Money Services Offense offenses have a three-year limitations period.[5]

What is the penalty for a Texas Money Services Offense offense?

The Money Services Offense in Texas is punished as a third degree felony.[6]

Can you get probation for Money Services Offense in Texas?

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows both judges and juries to grant probation for Money Services Offense, and judges are also allowed to accept deferred adjudication plea deals.[7]

Note, however, that judges may not grant community supervision after a conviction if (1) the defendant used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the commission of the felony or immediate flight thereafter and (2) the defendant used or exhibited the deadly weapon himself or was a party to the offense and knew that a deadly weapon would be used or exhibited.[8]

What level of crime is Money Services Offense in Texas?

The Finance Code classifies Money Services Offense as either a state jail felony or second degree felony.

Learn more about the penalty range for this offense in the section above.


^1. Texas Finance Code §152.408^2. SB 895, 88th Texas Legislature (RS), Section 1.01^3. SB 895, 88th Texas Legislature (RS), Section 5.01^4. SB 895, 88th Texas Legislature (RS), Section 1.01^5. See Code of Criminal Procedure 12.01(9)^6. Texas Penal Code §152.408(b)^7. See Chapter 42, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 42A.054, Art. 42A.056, Art. 42A.102 .^8. Art. 42A.054(b), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure

Money Services Crimes | Finance Code 152.408 | Penal Code 49.061 text with Texas and American Flag in background

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