The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas announced charges against Jack Texas Alves. The grand jury returned a 65 count indictment against Mr. Alves for one count of bankruptcy fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. 152 and 64 counts of structuring domestic financial transactions in violation of 31 U.S.C. 5324(a)(3).

The indictment alleges that in a bankruptcy court filing on May 23, 2008, Mr. Alves falsely stated the amount of cash he had in his possession was $4,000 when in fact, Mr. Alves knew he possessed substantially more cash which he concealed from the bankruptcy court and creditors. The indictment further alleges that Mr. Alves engaged in a pattern of structuring bank deposits, totaling more than $100,000 in a 12 month period, for the purpose of evading reporting requirements. According to a detailed list in the indictment, from February 24, 2010 until May 12, 2011, Mr. Alves made a total of 64 bank deposits-each one between $5000 and $8100.

Not mentioned in the accouncement or the indictment is whether Mr. Alves’ bank notified FinCEN of these transactions by filing suspicious activity reports or SARs. The indictment dates all of the transactions and it isn’t suprising that the bank caught on to Mr. Alves activities. For example, Mr. Alves made a deposit almost every business day for nearly two months. Each deposit was shy of the standard trigger for reporting purposes, $10,000. Bank’s are instructed to report structured transactions when series of deposits in a short duration of time add up to an amount that would have otherwise been reported if deposited together. Furthermore, banks are prohibited from telling a person that they filed an SAR about them to FinCEN. Thus, Mr. Alves likely had no idea that the bank had sent the SAR to FinCEN where it was being processed by analysts who eventually coordinated with law enforcement officials about the transactions.

The indictment also indicates that the government is seeking forfeiture of two bank accounts currently seized. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 981(a)(1)(C), 28 U.S.C. 2461 and Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures Rule 32.2, the government is seeking to forfeit funds that Mr. Alves alledly concealed from the bankruptcy court and creditors. Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 5317(c)(1)(A) and Rule 32.2 the government also seeks forfeiture of the funds involved in the structured transactions. The funds the government looks to forfeit amount to nearly $400,000.

The author of this blog is Erich Ferrari, an attorney specializing in Federal Criminal Defense matters. If you have any questions please contact him at 202-280-6370 or ferrari@ferrari-legal.com.

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