Virginia Beach Man Pleads Guilty to Structuring Charges
Jason Hale Faces Possible Prison Time
ABINGDON, VIRGINIA -- A Virginia Beach man pled guilty yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon to charges related to his participation in a conspiracy to structure monetary transactions.
Jason Scott Hale, 29, waived his right to be indicted and pled guilty to a two-count Information charging him with one count of conspiracy to structure monetary transactions and one count of causing the interstate transmission of more than $5,000 in stolen money.
“Jason and Michael Hale attempted to circumvent the rules requiring disclosure of large financial transactions to hide their criminal activity,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “ Thanks to the hard work of the IRS and other law enforcement, they have been held accountable for their dishonesty.”
Jason’ s father, Michael Hale, 58, of Speedwell, Virginia, previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to structure monetary transactions.
The defendants have admitted that Michael Hale, the bookkeeper at an office supply business in Wytheville, illegally wrote checks, payable to himself, from his employer’s account, without authorization. Between June 2010 and March 2011, Michael Hale illegally wrote himself more than 120 checks from his employer’s account in excess of $170,000. After writing himself the checks, Michael Hale caused the checks to be cashed and the proceeds to be sent via wire transfer to Jason Hale in the Virginia Beach area.
Jason Hale instructed his father to keep the money transfers below $1,000 in order to prevent him from having to show ID when picking up the money. Jason Hale also instructed his father to use fictitious names when sending wire transfers. After a financial institution refused to send any more wire transfers from Michael Hale, Jason Hale instructed his father to go to a financial institution outside of the Wytheville area to continue wiring the money under fictitious sender and recipient names. Jason Hale had admitted that he knew the money being sent to him was money stolen.At sentencing, Jason Hale faces a maximum possible penalty of five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 for the conspiracy charge and a maximum possible penalty of up to ten years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 on the interstate transmission charge. Both Jason Hale and Michael Hale have agreed to make full restitution to the office supply business.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer is prosecuting the case for the United States.