Recently, it was announced by U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade and Special Agent in Charge Jarod J. Koopman of the IRS – Criminal Investigation unit that former Troy, Michigan resident Irvin Flemming had been convicted of structuring financial transactions by a federal jury. Flemming was involved in a drug trafficking organization orchestrated by Carlos Powell, an organization which was investigated over a period of several years.
According to the press release, Flemming’s role in the drug operation was to make financial transactions in a way that would prevent law enforcement from detecting the true source of the funds and Powell’s illegal drug activities.
The investigation, which was conducted by agents and officers from various organizations and county, city, and state law enforcement agencies including the DEA, Homeland Security, Michigan State Police, officers from Detroit, Plymouth, Warren, Redford, Northville, and others, led to the discovery that Flemming was structuring, or causing to be structured, nearly $240,000 in cash that belonged to Powell in September and October of 2010. Flemming was structuring deposits into bank accounts he controlled, depositing amounts of $10,000 or less with each deposit so that the banks/financial institutions would not report the transactions. Financial institutions are required under law to file a report regarding deposits of more than $10,000.
Of the $230,824 drug money that was structured by Flemming, a condominium in Atlanta was purchased in October 2010 using a wire transfer authorized by Flemming. Purchase of the Atlanta condo was made in the name of Grand Towers, Inc. Carlos Ellis Powell is the president of Grand Towers, Inc. Other purchases made by Flemming using the structured drug proceeds include a Bentley, Hummer, and Mercedes Benz.
Flemming is scheduled to be sentenced in July of this year by U.S. District Court Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. The maximum prison sentence Flemming may face for structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements is five years.
Criminal offenses involving financial transactions, defrauding the IRS, embezzling, money laundering, and similar crimes are often referred to as “white collar crimes.” While generally these crimes are not violent, some may be intertwined with drug crimes, as in the case mentioned above. Regardless, the criminal penalties for committing a financial crime can be extremely harsh, and include substantial prison time, fines, restitution, and more. In addition, those who are convicted will have a criminal record that may impact their reputations and careers forever.
If you have been charged or are under investigation for tax evasion, embezzling, petty theft, structuring financial transactions, or any similar crime, consult with an experienced and aggressive Michigan white collar crimes attorney immediately.