Columbus Car Dealership, CEO Indicted For Illegally Structuring Large Cash Transactions
Public Affairs Officer
COLUMBUS – A federal grand jury has charged Valueland Auto Sales, Inc., and company CEO Ron Benit, 52, of Powell, Ohio with illegally structuring bank deposits to evade reporting requirements involving large cash transactions.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Kathy Enstrom, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS), announced the 26-count indictment returned yesterday.
The indictment alleges that Benit and Valueland made multiple cash deposits in amounts less than $10,000 on the same day or consecutive days. U.S. Treasury regulations require financial institutions to report currency transactions of more than $10,000 by filing a Currency Transaction Report (CTR). Law enforcement and tax authorities use information in the CTRs to track possible criminal activity.
Valueland operated as a “buy here/pay here” dealer in used automobiles and conducted its business under the name Cars East at location in Columbus, Ohio. Benit represented himself in bank documents as the company’s President/Owner/CEO.
Each count against Benit is punishable by up to five years in prison. Each count against the company carries a maximum punishment of a $500,000 fine and five years’ probation.
Stewart commended the investigation conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Dale E. Williams Jr., who is representing the United States in the case.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.