U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander on Friday sentenced Amefika Gray, 39, of Baltimore, to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for structuring bank deposits totaling over $2 million over a two-year period to avoid bank reporting requirements.
Judge Hollander also ordered that Gray forfeit $800,000, a Mercedes Benz vehicle and three residential properties located in Baltimore.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and various law enforcement agencies.
“Federal law requires large currency transactions to be reported in order to deter money laundering, tax evasion and other criminal conduct,” said Rosenstein. “Businesses that break up their cash deposits to avoid currency reporting requirements face federal criminal prosecution.”
According to his plea, Gray owns Network Auto Group, a car dealership operating at 2631 Gwynns Falls Parkway in Baltimore. Between January 15, 2010 and April 28, 2012, Gray made regular deposits of $10,000 or just under $10,000 into his personal and business bank accounts, including at least 25 instances in which Gray made multiple deposits under $10,000 the same day into the same bank or into different banks.
The amount of the structured deposits over this two year period totaled $2,017,205.23. Gray deposited the money in such amounts because he knew that the banks were required to report to the Internal Revenue Service all deposits over $10,000.
The government presented evidence to the court that the cash that Gray structured was the proceeds of drug trafficking activity.