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IRS Employee Pleads Guilty to Structuring Drug Proceeds

JULY 22 (FRESNO, Calif.) — Catatea James, 47, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to aiding and abetting structuring, Acting Special Agent in Charge Bruce C. Balzano and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Structuring is splitting up bank deposits to keep them under a $10,000 threshold in order to avoid the currency transaction report banks file with the Internal Revenue Service for deposits over that amount.

According to court documents, James, an IRS employee, structured cash derived from interstate marijuana trafficking organization run by her brother Joseph Edwin Gable, aka Mike Jones, 42. The cash was deposited into James’ bank account and withdrawn in amounts of $10,000 or less over 14 months. Gable is currently serving nearly five years in prison for structuring.

James is scheduled for sentencing before Senior U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on October 10, 2013. She faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the IRS Criminal Investigation, with assistance from the Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration (TIGTA), U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Birmingham, Ala., the California Highway Patrol, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Fresno Police Department, and the Madera County Narcotics Enforcement Team (MADNET). Assistant United States Attorneys Karen A. Escobar and Grant B. Rabenn are prosecuting the case.


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