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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Friday, January 24, 2014

Owner Of Forty Fort GM Foodmart Store Pleads Guilty To Money Laundering Conspiracy

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 47-year-old Forty Fort businessman pleaded guilty yesterday in Scranton before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Edwin M. Kosik to participating in a conspiracy to launder drug proceeds related to the distribution of synthetic marijuana.

     According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the defendant, Mastan Mathan, of Forty Fort, admitted to conducting financial transactions with drug proceeds that were designed to conceal the nature of the proceeds and carry on the illegal distribution of synthetic marijuana. The money laundering activity occurred between October 2011 and July 2012, and involved approximately $310,000.

     Mathan was charged in a criminal Information filed by the United States Attorney last week. Mathan and his co-conspirators obtained synthetic marijuana from out-of-state suppliers, sold synthetic marijuana to customers from the GM Foodmart Store in Forty Fort, and deposited the proceeds of drug sales into at least two bank accounts to conceal the illegal nature of the proceeds and to promote the carrying on of the illegal drug business.

     The prosecution of Mathan resulted from an investigation by the IRS-Criminal Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Pennsylvania State Police.

     Mathan faces up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Mathan forfeited approximately $174,000 to the United States that was seized by agents during the investigation.

     The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.

Updated April 16, 2015