News and Press Releases

Man Sentenced to 70 Months in Prison for Tax Evasion, Structuring Cash Transactions & Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana

January 17, 2006

Las Vegas, Nev. - A Las Vegas man who distributed large quantities of marijuana to customers in the United States in his small airplane and failed to report the income to the IRS, has been sentenced to 70 months in federal prison, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

GARY LYNN THOMAS, age 51, of Las Vegas, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas by U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan for his guilty pleas to Tax Evasion, Structuring Financial Transactions to Avoid Currency Reporting Requirements, and conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana.

According to the Plea Memorandum, THOMAS admitted that from approximately 1990 to 2003, he conspired with others to distribute between 1000 and 3000 kilograms of marijuana in Ohio and elsewhere. During the course of the conspiracy, THOMAS transported marijuana to co-schemers in Warren, Ohio, and New Castle, Pennsylvania, in his small airplane which he housed at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. He also transported large sums of U.S. currency which were the proceeds from the sale of marijuana by other members of the conspiracy. He deposited the monies in federally- insured banks in Nevada in amounts less than $10,000 in order to avoid IRS reporting requirements. THOMAS and his associates made approximately 1,064 cash deposits, each under $10,000, totaling approximately $6,975,450. THOMAS also failed to report $6.8 million in income he earned from the marijuana business during the tax years 2000 through 2003, and failed to pay the IRS approximately $2.1 million in taxes on that income.

The defendant agreed that the following assets seized by the United States were proceeds of his crimes, and agreed to their forfeiture:

  • Two Turnberry Place condominiums in Las Vegas;
  • An aircraft hanger and office at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas;
  • Two Dodge pickup trucks and a BMW motorcycle; and
  • Approximately $179,000 in U.S. currency seized from three banks.

The defendant is released on bond and must surrender to federal prison by March 3, 2006.

The case is being investigated by Special Agents with IRS Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Margaret M. Stanish.

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