Lawyer With Jersey City, New Jersey, Practice Charged With Structuring Cash Deposits
NEWARK, N.J. – A lawyer who practiced in Jersey City, New Jersey, appeared in federal court today to face charges that he structured approximately $800,000 in cash to avoid reporting the income to the IRS, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Magdy Fouad Anise, a/k/a “Michael Anise,” 51, of Aberdeen, New Jersey, is charged in an indictment with one count of structuring cash transactions to avoid reporting requirements and one count of structuring more than $100,000. He appeared this morning before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court.
According to the indictment:
Anise was an attorney at Anise & Anise, Attorneys at Law, located in Jersey City. From 2009 through 2011, Anise allegedly received cash kickbacks from doctors and others in exchange for personal-injury client referrals. In lieu of cash, Anise asked a doctor who gave him kickbacks to pay him with gold bars, give money to Anise’s church and pay Anise’s mortgage.
From 2009 through 2012, Anise accumulated approximately $800,000 in cash, including cash from the kickback scheme. During that time, Anise allegedly made cash deposits into five different bank accounts that he controlled in amounts less than $10,000, the amount that would have triggered the filing of a currency transaction report (CTR) with the IRS.
CTR forms require disclosure of the identity of the individual who conducted the transaction and the individual or organization for whom the transaction was completed. Many individuals involved in illegal activities are aware of these reporting requirements and take active steps to cause financial institutions not to file CTRs in order to avoid detection of the movement of large amounts of U.S. currency. These steps are referred to as “structuring” and involve making multiple cash deposits or withdrawals in amounts of $10,000 or less on the same day or consecutive days in order to avoid CTR filings.
The charge of structuring cash transactions to avoid reporting requirements carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of structuring more than $100,000 carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Newark Division, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin Kelly, for the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lakshmi Srinivasan Herman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense Counsel: Assistant Federal Public Defender Lisa Mack, Esq., Newark