News and Press Releases

Owner Of Forty Fort GM Foodmart Store Charged With Money Laundering

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2014

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that it has charged a 47-year-old Forty Fort businessman with conspiracy to commit money laundering related to the distribution of synthetic marijuana.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, his office filed a criminal Information yesterday against Mastan Mathan, charging him with conspiring to launder the proceeds of synthetic marijuana sales between October 2011 and July 2012.

     The Information alleges that Mathan and/or his co-conspirators obtained synthetic marijuana from out-of-state suppliers; sold synthetic marijuana to customers from the GM Foodmart Store in Forty Fort; and deposited the proceeds of drug sales into at least two bank accounts in order to conceal the illegal nature of the proceeds and to promote the carrying on of the illegal drug business.

     The charge against Mathan resulted from an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigative Division, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Pennsylvania State Police.

     If convicted of the charge, Mathan faces up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

     The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.

     Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

     A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

     In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 20 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

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