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Posted at 5:19 PM ET, 02/18/2011

Used-car dealership pleads guilty in money case

By Dana Hedgpeth

Manassas-based Univision Auto, a used-car dealership that traded as Auto Trademark, pleaded guilty Friday in a money structuring case worth more than $1.78 million.

Univision was indicted in December by a federal grand jury in Virginia on charges of money structuring. The company's executives admitted to making structured cash deposits between Aug. 2009 and July 2010.

Financial institutions that receive a deposit or withdrawal in excess of $10,000 from a customer must report the transaction and customer's contact information to the Internal Revenue Service. Univision admitted that it "engaged in structuring cash deposits to avoid triggering the filing," according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, which prosecuted the case.

As part of the plea agreement, Univision Auto agreed to forfeit roughly $866,400.

By Dana Hedgpeth  | February 18, 2011; 5:19 PM ET
Categories:  Dana Hedgpeth, From the Courthouse  
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Next: Priest sentenced for molesting girl, 11

Comments

Am I to assume Univision is a financial institution even when the article says it's a used-car dealer?

Posted by: hungrypirana | February 18, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Clearance Auto Insurance reduce the rates for long-time auto insurance customers. They just now reduced my rates!

Posted by: vadapanton | February 19, 2011 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Were there no live human beings involved in this set of events? Did the money automatically get deposited by a computer that programmed itself to violate the law?

Please remember that the whole reason for the reporting of cash transactions is not that the transaction is bad, but that a pattern of cash transactions is usually tied to tax evasion, money laundering for the illegal drug trade or money laundering supporting terrorism. The company executives have a lot of explaining to do and this story should not be the last we hear of this matter.

Posted by: ralphgrutzmacher | February 19, 2011 4:40 AM | Report abuse

Drug dealers used to do this back in the day. They would have people running around to various bank brances making deposits of $9,000-$9,999. They called it "smurfing".

Posted by: ceefer66 | February 19, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

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