Bank Employee Sentenced To Prison For Failing To File Currency Transaction Reports On Drug Proceeds
Accepted Payment from Drug Dealer for Converting Proceeds from Small Bills to $100 Bills
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Sabrina Nicole Fitts, age 29, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to one month in prison, followed by eight months of home detention, for failing to file currency transaction reports on suspected drug proceeds. Judge Bredar also ordered Fitts to perform 250 hours of community service and to forfeit $5,000 she was paid by a drug dealer for converting the drug proceeds.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gary Tuggle of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to Fitts’ plea agreement, Fitts was the head teller at the Perry Hall branch of M&T Bank. On at least eight occasions over a period of two to three years, Fitts converted the proceeds from the sale of illegal drugs from small denomination bills (i.e. $5, $10 and $20 bills) to $100 bills, on behalf of the leader of drug trafficking organization. The amounts involved in each transaction ranged from $50,000 to $100,000 and Fitts converted the bills without filing or having anyone else at the bank file a currency transaction report or suspicious activity report, as she was required by law to do. For example, on April 18, 2013, the drug dealer called Fitts to arrange to convert $100,000, gave Fitts $100,000 in small denomination bills in a bag or backpack, and returned later the same day to retrieve the $100 bills. On each occasion, the drug dealer paid Fitts one percent of the amount involved as her fee. Fitts admitted she received $5,000 from the drug dealer.
As head teller at the bank, Fitts was familiar with the currency transaction reporting requirements, and in fact had attended anti-money laundering training annually since at least 2009.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DEA and Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Stefan D. Cassella, who prosecuted the case.