Idaho Falls Man Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering
BOISE – Joseph Monte Johnson, 46, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, pleaded guilty in United States District Court in Boise today to conspiring to launder monetary instruments, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
According to the plea agreement, from July 10, 2008 through January 22, 2009, while working for West Coast Car Company in Boise, Johnson entered into an agreement with other individuals regarding a financial transaction involving the proceeds of what was believed to be drug trafficking activities. Johnson and other employees of West Coast Car Company agreed to sell two individuals, whom Johnson believed to be drug dealers, two automobiles for $55,000 in cash in July. They also agreed not to use the real names of the buyers on any forms connected to the car sales, and also agreed not to file an IRS Form 8300, a transaction report form required by the IRS from every trade or business when it receives a cash payment in excess of $10,000. The buyers returned to West Coast Car Company in January 2009 to do a second deal, and Johnson assured them they could do the deal the same way as before, that is West Coast Car Company would accept cash for the cars and would not use the buyers' true names on any forms or file the required IRS currency transaction report. Johnson and two other employees of West Coast Car Company were charged in a three count indictment in May 2011.
The charge of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments carries a maximum punishment of up to 20 years in prison, a fine up to $500,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
Sentencing is scheduled for November 17, 2011, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.
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