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Former Peoria Liquor Store Manager Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Money Structuring

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2011

Peoria, Ill. – A former manager of a Peoria, Ill., liquor store, Mohamed Nimer Asad, has been ordered to serve 36 months in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade sentenced Asad, 33, of Peoria, on Friday, Mar. 11. Asad was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,476,769. Asad is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

In June 2010, a jury convicted Asad of conspiracy to structure and unlawful money structuring of approximately $4.4 million in monetary transactions to avoid reporting requirements related to the business practices of WISAM 1 Inc., also known as Wisami Inc., doing business as Sheridan Liquors, at 2415 North Sheridan Road in Peoria. During trial, the government presented evidence that Asad, who was involved in the management and operation of Sheridan Liquors from August 2005 to March 2007, structured cash withdrawals from the business’s bank account for the purpose of evading a law that requires large cash transactions to be reported to the U.S. Treasury.

Sheridan Liquors’ primary business was the sale of liquor and other products, however the government presented evidence that the business cashed checks for a fee without a license by the State of Illinois to operate a check cashing business. Asad withdrew cash from Sheridan Liquors’ bank account by writing checks payable to cash which were structured to avoid the reporting requirements. All banks are required to file currency transaction reports for cash transactions exceeding $10,000.

The charges were the investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division; the Illinois Department of Revenue; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Decatur Police Department and the Illinois State Police. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Chesley.

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