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Press Release

Used Car Salesman Sentenced To 15 Months In Federal Prison In Money Laundering Conspiracy; Will Forfeit Almost $12 Million

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

Memphis, TN – Wayne David McAlpin, Jr., 50, of Memphis, TN was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes, Jr. to serve 15 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for his role in selling cars to drug traffickers in an effort to launder drug proceeds, announced Edward L. Stanton III, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee; Brian K. Chambers, the Resident Agent in Charge of the DEA Memphis Resident Office; and Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge of the Nashville Field Office. There is no parole in the federal system.

McAlpin pled guilty on July 11, 2013 to one count of money laundering and one count of filing fraudulent documents with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

In addition to the prison sentence, McAlpin, Jr. and his co-defendants forfeited their interests in almost $12 million dollars in bank accounts, investment accounts and vehicles, including: a 2008 Bentley Continental GTC; a 2011 Audi A8; a 2009 Cadillac Escalade; and a 2011 Lexus GX460.

“While masking themselves as legitimate businessmen, Wayne McAlpin Jr. and his cohorts at Budget Auto Sales lined their pockets with excessive profits by helping drug dealers enjoy the lavish fruits of their criminal acts,” said U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III. “McAlpin, a now twice convicted felon, will spend 15 months in a federal prison in addition to forfeiting millions of dollars of ill-gotten gains.”

This investigation was conducted in conjunction with prosecutors in Memphis as part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program, which seeks to reduce the availability of drugs by disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, money laundering organizations and related criminal enterprises.

“Traffickers may be equipped with a multitude of sophisticated methods in which to hide their assets, but Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) relentless pursuit to disrupt and destroy their drug trafficking activities prevailed in this case,” said Brian K. Chambers, the Resident Agent in Charge of the DEA Memphis Resident Office. “This investigation was a success because of the multi-level law enforcement cooperation.”

According to the agreed-upon statement of facts filed with the court during McAlpin, Jr.’s plea hearing, during the time in question, McAlpin, Jr. was president of Budget Auto Sales. This business was frequented by individuals engaged in criminal activity, including, but not limited to, illegal drug trafficking. The business sold multiple vehicles to drug traffickers, knowing they had previously had vehicles seized by law enforcement for transporting and concealing illegal drugs.

As part of the criminal conspiracy to conceal the fact that cars were being purchased with the proceeds of illegal drug trafficking, McAlpin, Jr. submitted IRS Form 8300s with false and misleading information. This form requires any car dealership to report all cash transactions of $10,000 or more. The individuals also titled vehicles in the names of other people, as part of an effort to hide the transactions from law enforcement.

"The role of the IRS CI in narcotics investigations is to follow the money so we can financially disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations," stated Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge of the Nashville Field Office. “One of the government’s most powerful weapons is the ability to seize and forfeit the assets associated with narcotics-related crime. IRS Criminal Investigation is proud to work with our law enforcement partners by lending our expertise in these complex financial investigations."

This crime was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS Criminal Investigations, the Memphis Police Department, and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Chris Cotten, Daniel French, and Jerry Kitchen on behalf of the government.

Updated March 19, 2015