FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEDNESDAY - April 7, 2010
MAN TRAVELING TO RDU PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO
SMUGGLE MONETARY INSTRUMENTS INTO UNITED STATES
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that LAYT KHALIL MOHAMMAD YOUNIS, 22, of Vanceboro, North Carolina, pled guilty yesterday before United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, to a conspiracy to smuggle monetary instruments into the United States. According to the Criminal Complaint and Indictment previously filed, as well as statements made during yesterday’s plea hearing:
On February 3, 2009, YOUNIS and a co-conspirator planned to travel by plane from Amman, Jordan to Raleigh-Durham International Airport, via Dulles International Airport. Each man was carrying $40,000 in books of counterfeit Visa traveler’s checks. The two men had traveled from North Carolina to Jordan a few days earlier to pick up the traveler’s checks.
At Dulles, customs officers discovered the counterfeit traveler’s checks that were concealed in the lining of the co-conspirator’s jacket. YOUNIS was subsequently questioned at RDU. Both men initially gave false statements to law enforcement agents about the source of the traveler’s checks. Both claimed they did not know that the monetary instruments were counterfeit. The investigation revealed evidence that the men believed the monetary instruments were real traveler’s checks that had been stolen during looting in Iraq.
On the required United States customs forms, both men had declared they were not bringing monetary instruments with a value over $10,000 into the United States.
YOUNIS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is currently scheduled for the Court’s July 6, 2010 term.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Clay C. Wheeler.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.