Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The verb "to smurf" is also a technical term related to money laundering. It refers to the practice of dividing up large illicit bank deposits into smaller individual transactions, each below the limit beyond which a bank must identify or report the transaction. Somebody who smurfs is a smurf (noun) in this context.
The term is said to have originated with a US law enforcement official watching the Smurfs cartoon on TV with his kids while wondering about how drug dealers could launder so much money undetected, when it occurred to him that it trickled out in small amounts just like little smurfs running around. It is unknown whether this etymology is actually correct.
The term is in widespread use in the context of money laundering. The practice of smurfing is more formally (and euphemistically) known as "structuring a deposit".
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details