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Press Release

Branford Woman Who Structured Cash Transactions Is Sentenced

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, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to two years of probation, during which she must perform 100 hours of community service, for structuring currency transactions to evade reporting requirements.  GUARINO pleaded guilty to the offense on January 30, 2014.

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.

On April 19, 2014, Judge Underhill ordered GUARINO to forfeit $13,000 based on the parties’ plea agreement.  GUARINO paid the money prior to sentencing.

This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed.


Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722

Updated March 18, 2015