Member Guilty In Cash Structuring Scheme

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HARTFORD, Conn. – A member of Sikorsky Financial CU on Wednesday pleaded guilty to violating Currency Cash Reporting requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act by illegally structuring cash transactions under $10,000.

John Ortiz maintained a money market savings account and a personal line of credit at the credit union. Between May 2006 and October 2009, Ortiz made more than 70 large cash deposits into his savings account and more than 30 large cash payments to his personal line of credit account, most of them at $9,000 each, with none exceeding $10,000. In total, Oritz structured about $943,000 in cash deposits and line of credit payments.

Oritz used the deposited funds to purchase, or to obtain credit in order to purchase, properties in Connecticut and Florida. Ortiz also used more than $270,000 of the structured funds to settle a business dispute with his former partner.

Federal law requires all financial institutions to file a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) for currency transactions that exceed $10,000. To evade the filing of a CTR, individuals will often structure their currency transactions so that no single transaction exceeds $10,000. Even if the deposited funds are derived from a legitimate means, financial transactions conducted in this manner are still in violation of federal criminal law.

As part of a plea deal Ortiz has agreed to forfeit $388,540 to the government. He is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 25.


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