Talladega Scrap Yard Owner Forfeits $1.3 Million For Financial Structuring
BIRMINGHAM -- A Talladega scrap yard owner pleaded guilty today to structuring $119,400 in cash transactions, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and IRS Criminal Investigation Division Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot.
EDWARD M. HINDMAN, 61, owner of Hindman's Wrecker Service & Salvage in Talladega, entered his guilty plea to one count of structuring before U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler. Hindman must forfeit $119,400 to the government as part of his plea agreement. He is scheduled for sentencing June 26.
Hindman also agreed to civilly forfeit $1,148,981 in a civil forfeiture action brought by the United States against money seized from Hindman's bank account in March 2011. In a Stipulation of Settlement filed today in the civil case, Hindman admitted no wrongdoing, but acknowledged that the government had reasonable cause to seize the money in 2011 and commence the forfeiture proceedings.
The U.S. Attorney's Office brought the criminal charge against Hindman in an information filed Thursday in U.S. District Court. His plea agreement with the government also was filed Thursday. Hindman acknowledges in the plea agreement that he intentionally structured, and directed others to structure, cash withdrawals at First National Bank Talladega in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid triggering the bank's requirement to file a Currency Transaction Report with the U.S. Treasury Department on all transactions greater than $10,000.
Between Feb. 23, 2011, and March 5, 2011, Hindman wrote, or directed others to write, 16 checks payable to "cash," which were cashed at the Talladega bank, according to his plea agreement. All the checks were just below the reporting requirement amount and totaled $119,400. The cash withdrawals were used to fund the operation of Hindman's salvage yard, according to his plea.
The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Wick is prosecuting the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Murnahan represents the government in the civil case.