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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Owner Of Fairfield Ohio Car Dealership Indicted On Money Laundering And Currency Transaction Report Charges


CINCINNATI – A federal grand jury has charged Bryan Barbarawi, 35, of West Chester, Ohio with committing money laundering and with filing a false currency transaction report in an indictment returned in Cincinnati.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Joseph P. Reagan, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office, announced the indictment that was unsealed on May 8, 2015 following the arrest of Barbarawi on May 7, 2015.

The indictment alleges that since February 2011 Barbarawi owned and operated a car dealership in Fairfield, Ohio under the names Nationwide Credit Solutions, LLC d/b/a Auto Max, Extreme Imports and Falcon Auto Sales, Inc.

Upon receiving more than $10,000 in cash in a trade or business, the trade or business is required to file a currency transaction report, specifically a Form 8300, with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) by the 15th day after the date the cash was received.

It has been alleged that in November 2014 Barbarawi committed money laundering by concealing the source and ownership of the proceeds from narcotics trafficking, as represented to Barbarawi by an undercover law enforcement officer, while conducting a financial transaction.

Also, in November 2014, it has been alleged that Barbarawi received approximately $21,533.50 in cash from two related transactions in connection with the sale of a vehicle and Barbarawi filed, and caused the employees of his car dealership to file, a false currency transaction report, Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business.  Barbarawi falsely reported, and caused his employees to falsely report, the purchaser of the vehicle and the source of the funds used to purchase the vehicle.

Money laundering carries a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and failing to file a currency transaction report carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.

“Federal laws that regulate the reporting of financial transactions are in place to detect and stop illegal activities,” said Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office. “IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to enforcing these laws and following the money, wherever it leads.”

Barbarawi was released on bond following his arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie K. Bowman.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation of this case by the DEA and IRS, and Assistant United States Attorneys Jessica W. Knight and Karl Kadon, who are prosecuting the case.

An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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Updated July 23, 2015