Couple Pleads Guilty To Structuring Financial Transactions To Evade Reporting Requirements
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that Bobby L. Ratcliffe (59) and Wanda F. Ratcliffe (55), both of Reddick, Florida, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to structure financial transactions to evade reporting requirements. Each faces up to five years in federal prison; a sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the plea agreement, Bobby and Wanda Ratcliffe structured cash deposits and withdrawals into and out of bank accounts that they controlled. The couple often traveled to Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa to conduct the transactions. To avoid Currency Transaction Reports, which are required for currency transactions exceeding $10,000 in a single day, they made individual deposits of less than $10,000 at different credit unions, or branches of the same credit union, on the same day or over consecutive days.
In addition to structuring cash deposits, the Ratcliffes made structured cash withdrawals by writing and cashing numerous personal checks made payable to themselves. Between August 2014 and July 2015, they wrote more than 1,750 checks to themselves for cash. Although the aggregate amount of withdrawals exceeded $10,000, no individual check was greater than $10,000 on a single day. In less than a year, the couple structured more than $4.5 million.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Treasury Office of Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation – Office of Inspector General, the Social Security Administriation – Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Frank Talbot and Bonnie Glober.