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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Arkansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Conway Business Owner Pleads Guilty To Structuring A Financial Transaction

LITTLE ROCK, AR Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas; Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Nashville Field Office; announced that Patrice Duncan, age 59, of Conway, pled guilty May 5, 2014, before United States District Judge Jay Moody. Duncan pled guilty to one count of structuring a financial transaction, of more than $10,000 in cash to evade the reporting requirements banks have to report to the United States Treasury when there is a cash deposit of more than $10,000.

“Structuring financial transactions to avoid currency reporting requirements is a criminal violation of federal law under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). Deliberately avoiding BSA requirements is a form of money laundering that will be vigorously investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation.”

Patrice Duncan was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 5, 2012 on 21 counts of structuring financial transactions. She pled to Count 21 of the Indictment. The remaining counts against Duncan were dismissed. Patrice Duncan is one of the owners of Duncan Outdoor in Conway. In September and October 2011, an undercover (UC) agent of the IRS-Criminal Investigations went to Duncan Outdoor and purchased a motorcycle with cash. The undercover agent, who was wearing a recording device, discussed paying in cash so that the bank and government would not know of the transaction. Patrice Duncan was recorded discussing with the UC agent that she would not deposit all the money at one time so that the bank wouldn’t fill out the forms that document transactions over $10,000. On October 25, 2011, Duncan deposited $9,400 cash from the UC agent’s purchase. A few days later, on October 28, 2011, Patrice Duncan deposited the remaining $2,000 cash from the UC agent’s purchase.

Structuring has a statutory maximum of not more than five years in prison and/or not more than a $250,000 fine followed by not more than three years of supervised release.

A sentencing date will be set by the Court at a later date. Gary Duncan, Patrice Duncan’s husband, was also indicted on the structuring charges. His trial will be continued.

The maximum sentence for bank fraud is not more than 30 years imprisonment, not more than a $1,000,000 fine and/or not more than five years of supervised release.

The case was investigated by special agents from the IRS-Criminal Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by First Assistant United States Attorney Pat Harris.

Updated July 14, 2015