Criminal Complaint Filed Against Tinian Casino And Two Men In Investigation Of Failure To File Currency Transaction Reports
ALICIA A. G. LIMTIACO, United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the
Northern Mariana Islands, announced that a criminal complaint was filed against two individuals and a corporation on April 19, 2013. A copy of the unsealed complaint is attached. The complaint charges GEORGE QUE, TIM BLYTHE, and the entity known as HONG KONG ENTERTAINMENT (OVERSEAS) INVESTMENTS, LTD. dba TINIAN DYNASTY HOTEL & CASINO with conspiracy to cause a financial institution to fail to file currency transaction reports and causing a financial institution to fail to file currency transaction reports. The maximum sentence for each offense is imprisonment for not more than 10 years, a fine of not more than $500,000 for an individual, and a fine of not more than $1,000,000 for a corporation.
Federal law requires that a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) be filed with the IRS by financial institutions, including casinos, in regard to any currency transaction over $10,000.
According to the criminal complaint, beginning in or around September 2009 and continuing through the present, the TINIAN DYNASTY HOTEL & CASINO engaged in a pattern of accommodating gamblers in conducting transactions involving more than $10,000 without filing CTRs with the government. Defendants BLYTHE and QUE allegedly did not file any CTRs or cause anyone else to do so, despite their knowledge of the reporting requirement.
The criminal complaint alleges that in May 2012, IRS Criminal Investigation initiated an undercover operation concerning possible illegal activities at the TINIAN DYNASTY HOTEL & CASINO by having two agents pose as gamblers wishing to use large amounts of currency but not wanting any reports filed with the government about their use of cash. Between February 28, 2013, and March 4, 2013, HONG KONG ENTERTAINMENT (OVERSEAS) INVESTMENTS, LTD. dba TINIAN DYNASTY HOTEL & CASINO, GEORGE QUE, and TIM BLYTHE caused the TINIAN DYNASTY HOTEL & CASINO to fail to file required CTRs related to nine transactions involving undercover IRS agents. Each of these transactions, individually, exceeded the reporting threshold for CTRs.
The criminal complaint states that, upon conviction, HONG KONG ENTERTAINMENT (OVERSEAS) INVESTMENTS, LTD. dba TINIAN DYNASTY HOTEL & CASINO, GEORGE QUE, and TIM BLYTHE would forfeit their interest in two bank accounts held in Guam, two bank accounts held in Saipan, and in the TINIAN DYNASTY HOTEL & CASINO.
This Thursday morning, April 25, 2013, federal agents executed a federal search warrant on the TINIAN DYNASTY HOTEL & CASINO. In conjunction with the search warrant execution, QUE was arrested. Federal agents also executed warrants to seize property subject to forfeiture at the TINIAN DYNASTY HOTEL & CASINO, and its bank accounts.
QUE appeared in court this afternoon before Designated Judge Robert C. Naraja who ordered that he be released on conditions including verification of location monitoring at his residence by the U.S. Probation Office. An arrest warrant is outstanding for BLYTHE. Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona of the District Court of the NMI issued a summons requiring the corporate representative of HONG KONG ENTERTAINMENT (OVERSEAS) INVESTMENTS, LTD. dba TINIAN DYNASTY HOTEL & CASINO to appear in court on May 3, 2013, at 9:00 a.m.
Kenneth J. Hines, Special Agent in Charge of IRS CI in the Pacific Northwest region said that, “Federal laws that regulate the reporting of financial transactions are in place to detect and stop illegal activities. IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to enforcing these laws and following the money, wherever it leads.”
“CTRs are important law enforcement tools for uncovering criminal activity. Individuals and financial institutions who seek to evade the federal reporting requirements will be pursued by the Department of Justice and its partners in federal law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney Alicia A.G. Limtiaco.
The case is being investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Marshals Service, and Homeland Security Investigations assisted IRS CI in the execution of the search warrant. The United States Coast Guard assisted in transporting the federal agents from Saipan to the TINIAN DYNASTY HOTEL & CASINO.
A criminal complaint is only a charge, and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.