News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

WEDNESDAY - August 12, 2009

GOLDSBORO DELI OWNER SENTENCED IN

FINANCIAL STRUCTURING SCHEME

GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard sentenced SAID ASMAR, 56, a Jordanian national residing in Goldsboro, North Carolina, to 63 months’ imprisonment followed by three years supervised release. The Court also imposed a fine of $10,000.

On March 31, 2009, a Criminal Information was filed charging aiding and abetting illegal structuring of financial transactions. ASMAR pled guilty to the charge on May 6, 2009.

Evidence presented by the Government in the hearing proved that ASMAR, the owner of Goldsboro Deli, deliberately structured financial transactions to avoid the reporting requirements by federal law. Specifically, ASMAR would intentionally withdraw amounts less than $10,000 with the intention that BB&T would not file a Currency Transaction Report with the IRS. On at least 70 instances, ASMAR visited multiple branches of the same bank on the same day, each time withdrawing less than $10,000 but in total exceeding $10,000.

An investigation of ASMAR’s bank accounts proved that from January 2003 to April 2007, ASMAR made 665 cash withdrawals from BB&T totaling over $5 million, all in increments of less than $10,000.

Mr. Holding commented, “Federal currency reporting requirements are an important tool in the fight against a wide range of crimes. Thus, it is critical that all of our citizens meet those requirements and abide by them.

"Currency reporting information is a vital tool for IRS Criminal Investigation Division and its law enforcement partners as itprovides aroadmap forinvestigation of financial crimes and other illegal activities.Those whoattempt to evadedetection of currency deposits risk losing their liberty as well as theircurrency" stated IRS Special Agent in Charge, Jeannine A. Hammett.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; the United States Department of Agriculture, Office Inspector General; the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney James A. Candelmo represented the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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