GREENWICH NAIL SALON OWNER PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL CURRENCY STRUCTURING AND IMMIGRATION OFFENSES
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JAE HEE YANG, formerly known as Jae Hee Yang Kim, 57, of Englewood, N.J., pleaded guilty yesterday before United States Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to one count of structuring currency transactions to evade reporting requirements and one count of employing an unauthorized alien.
Federal law requires all financial institutions to file a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) for currency transactions that exceed $10,000. To evade the filing of a CTR, individuals will often structure their currency transactions so that no single transaction exceeds $10,000. Structuring involves the repeated depositing or withdrawal of amounts of cash less than the $10,000 limit, or the splitting of a cash transaction that exceeds $10,000 into smaller cash transactions in an effort to avoid the reporting requirements. Even if the deposited funds are derived from a legitimate means, financial transactions conducted in this manner are still in violation of federal criminal law.
According to court documents and statements made in court, YANG is the sole owner of Tip Top Nails, Inc., a nail salon located in Old Greenwich, Conn. Between May and September 2009, YANG made 15 cash withdrawals in increments ranging from $4,000 to $8,000 and totaling $100,000, from a bank in New Jersey where she maintained a business checking account. The currency was generated from the operation of Tip Top Nails. At the time, YANG knew that the bank was required to issue a report for a currency transaction in excess of $10,000, and that by conducting her financial transactions in amounts less than $10,001, she intended to evade the transaction reporting requirements.
Also between May and September 2009, YANG employed a person at Tip Top Nails who was an unauthorized alien not permitted to work in the United States.
In pleading guilty, YANG admitted that Tip Top Nails employed other unauthorized aliens, paid the aliens in cash rather than check as it did with legal employees, and drove the aliens daily in a van between New York and Greenwich.
YANG is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson on November 20, 2012, at which time YANG faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five and one-half years and a fine of up to $250,000. Also, YANG has agreed to forfeit the $100,000 she structured.
This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and ICE Homeland Security Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed.
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