The ISSS wants to alert international students filing for an extension of stay of their I-20 or DS-2019 to a situation that has been brought to the attention of the ISSS by the Director of Security for M & T Bank. It has to do with the requirement that applicants for an extension of stay provide proof of financial support. The bank has expressed concern that they are witnessing a frequent series of withdrawals and deposits of a round sum of money (in some cases, $8,500), among M & T accounts assigned to Binghamton University students. In every case, the deposit is followed by a request for a bank statement.
The Director of Security for M & T Bank called because US federal laws require banks to monitor unusual movement of large sums of money into and out of accounts. This is to protect against possible criminal activity, such as illegal drugs or terrorism, or fraud. The bank also wanted the ISSS to know that if the purpose of the bank statement is to provide proof of funds for some kind of application, that the bank could only vouch for the funds being on account on the day and time that the bank statement was produced.
Although it was M&T Bank that contacted the ISSS, all banking institutions are required to be in compliance with Federal monitoring guidelines.
No names of account holders have been provided to the ISSS and there is no specific accusation implied.
However, if you are aware of a situation where money is being moved among individual students’ accounts for the purpose of showing proof of funds for Extension of Stay, it needs to stop. Banks are monitoring these transactions, and it places students at risk for possible cancellation of their bank account, and a potential investigation by the appropriate US federal authority.
We hope that this timely message will help inform our students of a practice that could ultimately place them at risk.
If you have questions, please write to the ISSS Extension Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: 4/10/12