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Drug Trafficker Pleads Guilty to Structuring and Money Laundering Charges
A defendant was sentenced to Federal prison after he admitted to structuring dozens of bank deposits and withdrawals, in an attempt to conceal proceeds from marijuana and hallucinogenic mushroom sales. With detailed bank statements, prosecutors could prove structuring and money laundering in lieu of presenting evidence of drug trafficking.
The defendant and his accomplices grew high-potency marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms and shipped the drugs to customers throughout the country. Prosecutors documented numerous cash deposits that were made to his bank account at several branches in a distant state. Additionally, numerous cash withdrawals from the account were made from a local branch during a period of several months.
In the plea agreement the defendant admitted to having structured currency transactions to evade reporting obligations while violating other laws involving the distribution of marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, as well as to having knowingly engaged in a monetary transaction involving criminally derived property from the distribution of marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms.
As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, the defendant will be forced to forfeit a residence and other property.
[Published in The SAR Activity Review - Trends, Tips & Issues, Issue 18, October 2010]