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Salty Droid

PhotoSpam - Warehouse Stakeout

That time I rented a car and did a stakeout of Herbalife’s bizarre Miami warehouse. It was boring. I needed some kind of sidekick to fetch me coffees and bear the brunt of my witty banter.

The warehouse is located near the Opa Locka “Executive” airport. I think you’re allowed to snort coke in line at “executive” airports… I don’t know. It’s important that rich people be allowed to do whatever they want.

Herbalife calls these warehouses “Quick Response Centers” and they’ve popped up all over the country. This one is in an industrial, rather than retail, area.

Inside it was hot and kind of gross. It didn’t feel at all like the customer facing interface of a publicly traded company; more abandoned bus station than Apple store.

Posters mounted to the walls advertise the availability of PayNearMe, a cash transaction service. It works like this: a) you take a pile of cash (that you happen to have lying around) to a 7-eleven or Family Dollar, b) you hand the money to the cashier, c) you pick up your prepaid Herbalife order at the strange industrial warehouse.

Sounds great I know. You wish you could pay for everything by going to a 7-eleven first. But there are limits:

Each order cannot exceed $1000 limit (including tax). However, you can place multiple orders of less than or equal to $1,000 using this payment method

My goodness, you really must love protein powder - and cash. Should you be carrying all of your protein money as cash? I don’t think you should. Maybe get a bank account and eat a salad?

All combined orders cannot exceed a $2,900 limit (including tax) in a 24 hour period and $10,000 limit (including tax) in a rolling 30 day period using this payment method.

$9,999 in cash protein purchases? Absolutely. Makes perfect sense. Pull your truck around back.

$10,001 in cash protein purchases? Suspicious. Ridiculous. Not allowed.

Incidentally, according to the IRS:

Generally, any person in a trade or business who receives more than $10,000 in cash in a single transaction or in related transactions must file a Form 8300.

The Form 8300 provides valuable information to the Internal Revenue Service and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in their efforts to combat money laundering. This is an important effort, since money laundering is a tool used to facilitate various criminal activities, ranging from tax evasion to terrorist financing to drug dealing, to hide the proceeds from their illegal activities.