08/13/09 — Man gets five years for scheme

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Man gets five years for scheme

By Staff Reports
Published in News on August 13, 2009 1:46 PM

GREENVILLE -- United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that in federal court Wednesday that U.S. District Judge Malcolm J. Howard sentenced Said Asmar, 56, a Jordanian national residing in Goldsboro, to 63 months' imprisonment for aiding and abetting illegal structuring of financial transactions.

Asmar pleaded guilty to the charge in May.

His prison time will be followed by three years supervised release. He also will have to pay a $10,000 fine.

Evidence presented by the government in court proved that Asmar, the owner of Goldsboro Deli, deliberately structured financial transactions to avoid the reporting requirements by federal law.

Specifically, Asmar would intentionally withdraw amounts less than $10,000 with the intention that BB&T would not file a currency transaction report with the Internal Revenue Service.

On at least 70 instances, Asmar visited multiple branches of the same bank on the same day, each time withdrawing less than $10,000 but in total exceeding $10,000.

An investigation of Asmar's bank accounts proved that from January 2003 to April 2007, Asmar made 665 cash withdrawals from BB&T totaling over $5 million, all in increments of less than $10,000.

"Federal currency reporting requirements are an important tool in the fight against a wide range of crimes," Holding said in a statement. "Thus, it is critical that all of our citizens meet those requirements and abide by them."

Involved in the investigation were the IRS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the FBI and the SBI.