News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 09, 2008
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell
PIO/AFD
Number: 404-893-7124

Corporate Defendant Sentenced for Currency Violation

DEC 09 -- Edmund A. Booth, Jr., United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, announced that Hermes Import-Export, Inc., located at 48 West Montgomery Crossroad in Savannah was sentenced on December 3, 2008 to five years probation in U.S. District Court in Savannah, Georgia by U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield for the offense of structuring bank deposits (currency transactions) for the purpose of causing one or more domestic financial institutions (banks) to fail to file currency transaction reports (CTRs) as required by law. The law requires that a bank file a CTR whenever a customer deposits $10,000 or more in a single transaction. A bank customer violates the law when it knowingly “structures” or divides the deposit into separate deposits of less than $10,000 in order to avoid having the bank file the CTR. The information charged that Hermes engaged in unlawful structuring on multiple occasions between January 2002 and September 2005. Hermes pleaded guilty to the information on September 2, 2008. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Hermes agreed to forfeit $350,000 to the United States by virtue of funds in that amount having been involved in the structuring violation charged in the information. Hermes is a Georgia corporation and is primarily a prepaid telephone card wholesaler and retailer.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Booth commended the agency for its diligence in investigating the case and observed that currency structuring violations are serious offenses in that they can deprive the government of vital information in its efforts to combat a multitude of crimes. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cameron Ippolito and Karl Knoche.

Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division, encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.com and www.dea.gov. DEA.gov takes you directly to the Diversion Control and Prescription Drugs link.

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