AUTO DEALERSHIPS AND OWNERS PLEAD GUILTY TO TAX CRIMES
THURSDAY, JULY 05, 2012
Public Affairs Officer
DAYTON – Cincy Imports in Loveland and Cincy Automotive in Morrow and two people involved in the management and operation of the used car dealerships pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court here today to helping drug dealers launder money by failing to report large cash transactions connected with sales of used cars.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Darryl Williams, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS), Todd Spradling, Resident Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Warren County Drug Task Force Commander John Burke announced the pleas entered today before District Judge Thomas M. Rose.
Cincy Automotive, which was in the business of buying and selling used cars, pleaded guilty to one count of illegally structuring financial transactions by breaking a currency transaction greater than $10,000 into smaller deposits in order to prevent a financial institution from filing a currency transaction report required under federal law. The crime is punishable by up to three years’ probation and a fine of up to $500,000.
Cincy Imports pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and one count of money laundering conspiracy, admitting that on numerous occasions between at least 2006 and October 2009, the company sold cars to individuals that the company knew were engaged in the sale of illegal narcotics. During several of these transactions, Cincy Imports agreed to place the title of these cars in the names of individuals other than the drug dealers to help them conceal their ownership of these vehicles in an attempt to prevent the vehicles’ seizure by law enforcement as proceeds of drug trafficking activity. These crimes are punishable by up to five years’ probation and a fine of up to $500,000.
Ghassan Anthony Kayrouz a/k/a “Tony”, who participated in the ownership and management of both dealderships, pleaded guilty to one count of failing to file a report disclosing a cash transaction of more than $10,000, punishable by up to ten years in prison.
Ihab Fouad Kaldas, who participated in the operation and management of both companies, pleaded guilty to one count of failing to file a report disclosing a cash transaction of more than $10,000, , and one count of making a false statement on federal income tax returns, a crime punishable by up to three years in prison. Kaldas received $211,894 in unreported cash income in 2007 and 2008.
Kaldas and Kayrouz knew that the cash they received represented proceeds from illegal drug activity which totaled in excess of $100,000 over a 12 month period.
“The terms of a Global Settlement Agreement reached in this case calls for the civil forfeiture of $204,855.19,” said Darryl Williams, Special Agent in Charge, IRS, Criminal Investigation.