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Lengthy Sentence for Owning a Marijuana Farm

A defendant was sentenced to serve multiple months in prison followed by several years probation, after pleading guilty to narcotics trafficking charges and structuring financial transactions to evade the currency reporting requirements in connection with a marijuana growing operation. The defendant incorporated a business, falsely described in corporate documents as a real property development company, which the defendant then used to purchase acreage, set up the marijuana growing operation and hired people to run it.

According to the plea agreement, the defendant admitted to making over 100 cash deposits to the corporate account over several years. The cash deposits totaled more than $1 million, but each deposit was less than $10,000. This investigation was initiated based on the filing of a Suspicious Activity Report.

(Source: Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation)

[Published in The SAR Activity Review Trends, Tips & Issues, Issue 8, April 2005]