U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
October 4, 2010
CHECK CASHING BUSINESS OWNER SENTENCED IN FEDERAL COURT
FOR FAILING TO REPORT $1.9 MILLION IN TRANSACTIONS
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Vincent Aiello, the owner of a North Providence, R.I. check cashing business, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Providence to 5 years probation and a $30,000 fine for failing to report nearly two million dollars in transactions as required by the Bank Secrecy Act. Aiello was ordered to serve the first eight weekends of the sentence in intermittent confinement at the Barnstable County Correctional Facility in Bourne, Mass.
An investigation and audit of North Pro Services found that between March 2005 and July 2007, Aiello failed to report dozens of transactions in excess of $10,000, and allowed the same person or persons to affect more than one transaction in excess of $10,000 on the same date without reporting the transactions, all in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act. Aiello pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence in May.
The sentence, which was imposed by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi, was announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.
At the time of Aiello’s guilty plea, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew J. Reich told the court a criminal investigation agent for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) posing as a customer spoke with Aiello in June 2007 inquiring about cashing checks at North Pro Services. Aiello instructed the agent to “split up” amounts greater than $10,000 into multiple checks each below $10,000. Aiello stated that he did not care about the total dollar amount of checks cashed in a single transaction, so long as it consisted of checks that were individually $10,000 or less.
In mid-July 2007, Aiello met in person with the undercover IRS agent at North Pro Services prior to cashing multiple checks totaling $18,700. Aiello mentioned that it would be easier for him to get around filing a report if amounts over $10,000 could be broken up into single checks, each being $10,000 or less.
In early August 2007, a search was conducted at the office of North Pro. Based on records obtained from the search, records voluntarily disclosed by the defendant, and information obtained during the undercover operation, the IRS determined nearly two million dollars worth of checks were cashed that were not properly reported.