FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2003
TDD (202) 514-1888
JURY CONVICTS INSTITUTE OF GLOBAL PROSPERITY PARTICIPANT OF CONSPIRACY TO STRUCTURE CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Assistant Attorney General Eileen J. O'Connor of the Tax Division announced that a federal jury in Seattle returned a guilty verdict against Laura Jean Marie Struckman, a participant in the Institute of Global Prosperity (IGP). She was convicted of conspiracy to structure a financial transaction.
Trial evidence showed that Struckman, formerly of Renton, Wash., and an unindicted co-conspirator engaged in a 14-month conspiracy from June 1997 through August 1998 to evade currency reporting requirements by making cash withdrawals of over $960,000 in 122 separate transactions, none of which exceeded $10,000. The evidence further established that Struckman was the co-signer on three nominee bank accounts, opened at the U.S. Bank of Washington, into which she and another individual deposited over $3.7 million, earned from IGP, during the time period of the conspiracy.
Struckman faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. She is scheduled to be sentenced by the Chief U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour Aug. 8, 2003.
In other cases related to IGP, Jeffrey and Shoshana Szuch and Margo Jordan all pleaded guilty to using foreign bank accounts to commit tax evasion. According to indictments in those cases, the government showed that IGP was an organization that hosted offshore seminars for promoters of abusive trusts and anti-tax schemes. IGP was also known by other names, including Global Prosperity Marketing Group (GPMG) and Global Prosperity Group (GPG). Members of IGP marketed and sold various IGP products, including an "education course" named "Global 1" priced at $1,250; a ticket to a three-day offshore seminar named "Global 2" priced at $6,250; and a ticket to a five-day offshore seminar named "Global 3" priced at $18,750. The indictments alleged that the Global 2 and Global 3 seminars brought together portions of the IGP membership to hear, among other things, presentations by individuals and organizations involved in the sale and operation of foreign trusts designed in part to conceal income from the Internal Revenue Service.
The Struckman case was investigated by agents of IRS Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Tax Division trial attorneys Mark T. Odulio and Christopher J. Maietta.
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