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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 6, 2020

Construction company owner pleads guilty in $2.5M fraud scheme

McALLEN, Texas – A construction company owner has admitted guilt in connection to his participation in a financial fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.  

Today, Delfino Gaona, 47, McAllen, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud the United States and one count of failing to file a currency transaction report by a non-financial trade or business. As part of the plea, he also agreed to a criminal forfeiture of $2,587,821.66.

Gaona was the owner of Keystone Construction, based in Mission. From Dec. 1, 2014, through Nov. 14, 2018, he accepted over $10,000 in approximately 13 separate real estate transactions. However, he failed to file an IRS Form 8300 with the Secretary of the Treasury for each of the transactions. As part of his plea, he admitted to receiving more than $2.5 million and structuring the transactions and falsifying receipts in an effort to evade the reporting requirement.

Under federal law, any non-financial trade or business that received more than $10,000 in cash in one transaction or two or more related transactions must file an IRS Form 8300.  

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez will impose sentencing June 24. At that time, Gaona faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $500,000 maximum fine for failing to file a currency transaction report. He also faces up to five years conspiracy to defraud the United States and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.  

The FBI – Complex Financial Crimes Task Force conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Insurance Fraud Unit, Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office and police departments in McAllen and Pharr. Assistant U.S. Attorney Roberto Lopez Jr. is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated March 6, 2020