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Press Release

Branford Woman Pleads Guilty To Strucuring Cash Transactions

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that DAWN M. GUARINO, also known as Dawn DeCapua Guarino, 54, of Branford, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one count of structuring currency transactions to evade reporting requirements.

Federal law requires all financial institutions to file a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) for currency transactions that exceed $10,000.  To evade the filing of a CTR, individuals will often structure their currency transactions so that no single transaction exceeds $10,000.  Structuring involves the repeated depositing or withdrawal of amounts of cash less than the $10,000 limit, or the splitting of a cash transaction that exceeds $10,000 into smaller cash transactions in an effort to avoid the reporting requirements.  Even if the deposited funds are derived from a legitimate means, financial transactions conducted in this manner are still in violation of federal criminal law.

According to court documents and statements made in court, over the course of 18 days in October and November 2009, GUARINO cashed 18 checks made payable to her in the amount of $9,900 and totaling $178,200.  The transactions occurred at 13 different branches of two banks in eight towns in the New Haven area.  The checks, which were from her attorney, represented GUARINO’s portion of a settlement of a Connecticut civil lawsuit stemming from an automobile accident.  At the time, GUARINO knew that the bank was required to issue a report for a currency transaction in excess of $10,000, and her intention was to evade the transaction reporting requirements.

Judge Underhill scheduled sentencing for April 24, 2014, at which time GUARINO faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.  GUARINO also has agreed to forfeit $13,000.

This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed.


Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722

Updated March 18, 2015