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Corrupt Official Convicted on Numerous Charges Including
In a case where a corrupt politician extorted money from his constituents, investigators examining his financial records found numerous instances of structuring. In fact, three different banks filed SARs on the defendant detailing unusual transactions. Prosecutors charged the official with multiple counts of structuring and other crimes.
The official extorted three individuals in his district to pay him nearly $100,000 in exchange for his support of zoning variances on properties. The jury also found that the defendant structured certain financial transactions in order to evade reporting requirements on several occasions. When the defendant demanded extortion money from victims, he claimed that he needed to share the money with his fellow elected officials to ensure the measures passed.
Over the course of several years, SARs were filed on the defendant. One bank filed a SAR for transactions that appeared to be structured while the defendant was in office. Bank personnel became concerned after discovering deposits that aggregated to several hundred thousand dollars. No single deposit exceeded $10,000. A second bank filed a SAR on check cashing activity that aggregated to $15,000 over successive days in an apparent attempt to avoid a Currency Transaction Report. A third bank filed several SARs based on transactions the defendant and a business associate conducted over 3 months, totaling over $400,000.
The elected official was convicted of extortion, wire fraud, failure to file income tax returns, and multiple counts of structuring financial transactions.
[Published in The SAR Activity Review - Trends, Tips & Issues, Issue 19, May 2011]