INDIANAPOLIS -- A 47-year-old Putnam County man has been sentenced to 24 months imprisonment following his guilty pleas to three counts of structuring monetary transactions, the Department of Justice has announced.
Roachdale resident Stephen R. Smith was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence in the Southern District of Indiana.
In August 2010, and again in March 2011, Smith was charged with structuring financial transactions in an indictment filed in the Southern District of Indiana.
Specifically, Smith was charged with traveling to different banks or branches in different towns, generally on the same day, and using cash to purchase cashier's checks in an attempt to prevent the banks from recording and reporting the amount of currency he had.
According to court documents, between 2005 and 2007, and then again in October 2011, Smith manipulated cash transactions involving just under $700,000, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler said.
Federal law requires banks and other financial institutions to record receipt of cash between $3,000 and $10,000 and to report the transaction to the federal government.
Federal law also requires banks and other financial institutions to prepare and file a Currency Transaction Report with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) any time it receives more than $10,000 in cash in a single transaction. It is unlawful to manipulate transactions with intent to avoid these recording and reporting requirements.
During his guilty plea and sentencing hearing, Smith admitted he had not filed federal tax returns or paid any federal income taxes since 1994.
He also admitted that he manipulated his cash at various banks so that the federal government, particularly the IRS, would not know what income he earned.
Smith earned income from his business, Frontier Inc., which first did business as Frontier Gun Club in Roachdale, and then operated as Indiana Gun Club in Fortville.
Since being charged, Smith has filed his past federal tax returns, authorities said.
In addition to the 24-month sentence, the court also imposed a $2,500 fine and ordered Smith to be under court supervision for two years following his release from prison. The court also ordered the forfeiture of $305,050 that was seized from Smith's residence in 2008 during the investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Doris L. Pryor and Sharon M. Jackson, and was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service.