News and Press Releases

California Man Sentenced to 5 Years for
Conspiring to Structure Financial Transactions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2013

Contact: Michael J. Conley
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257

Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced today that
John Hunt, 53, of Victorville, California, was sentenced on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in
Portland by Judge George Z. Singal to 5 years in prison for conspiring to structure more than
$65,000 in drug proceeds to evade federal cash transaction reporting requirements. Hunt pled
guilty to the offense in March 2013.

Under federal law, financial institutions that receive more than $10,000 in cash from a
customer are required to report the transaction to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Financial
institutions must also record certain information and verify the identity of anyone who uses cash
to purchase $3,000 or more worth of money orders on the same day. Structuring occurs when a
customer breaks up their cash transactions into multiple increments of less than $10,000 or
$3,000, to avoid these cash transaction reporting requirements.

According to court records, on at least 15 occasions between November 2009 and May
2010, Hunt and a co-conspirator purchased $3,000 or more in U.S. postal money orders from 9
different post offices in Maine. These purchases were divided up between Hunt and the co-
conspirator so that neither Hunt nor the co-conspirator purchased more than $3,000 worth of
money orders at any one post office location. The money used to purchase these money orders
was generated from Hunt’s sale of marijuana.

As Judge Singal noted at sentencing, this is Hunt’s second federal conviction. He was
sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in 1988 in U.S. District Court in Portland on marijuana
trafficking charges. His sentence was later reduced to 10 years imprisonment.

The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service.

 

 

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