Texas Money Services Crimes: Texas Finance Code §152.408

Texas Criminal Law

Beginning in 2023, it is illegal in Texas to engage in any money service activities that would require a money services license under Texas law.

The new law is 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.

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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.

Changes in the money transmission industry have exposed outdated and often conflicting state requirements across the country.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. Learn more about the Money Services Offenses below.

What is the current Texas law about Money Services Offense?

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.

These new criminal laws were 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 Money Services Offense?

You can be charged with Money Services Offense 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 punishment for Money Services Offense?

The Money Services Offense is punished as a third degree felony.[5]

^1. a href=”https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FI/htm/FI.152.htm#152.408″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>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. Texas Penal Code §152.408(b)

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

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