LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – R. Alexander Acosta anno…

LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – R. Alexander Acosta announced today that a former Vice President of Gulf Bank, Mayra Cuellar, entered guilty pleas to nineteen (19) counts of failure to file currency transaction reports (CTRs), in violation of Title 31, United States Code, Sections 5324(a)(1) and (d)(2).

Cuellar faces a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of up to ten (10) years, followed by a term of supervised release of up to three (3) years, as to each count. In addition to a term of imprisonment and supervised release, the court may impose a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing has been scheduled for August 30, 2006, before the United States District Court Judge Marcia Cooke.

According to the charges, Cuellar was a Vice President for Gulf Bank, and had been employed at the bank from August 1988 through July 15, 2002. From August 19, 1991 through her termination in July 2001, Cuellar acted as the Bank Secrecy Officer, responsible for reviewing and filing CTRs from all branch offices. However, starting in 1998, Cuellar stopped filing all CTRs.

Because of the Bank’s failure to file the required CTRs, the Federal Reserve and the Florida Department of Banking and Finance issued a Cease and Desist Order against Gulf Bank, effective November 28, 2001. The Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) also assessed a civil monetary penalty of $700,000 against Gulf Bank, resulting from the Bank’s willful violations of the currency transaction and suspicious activity reporting requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act. In total, from February 1998 through June 2001, Gulf Bank failed to timely file approximately 2,434 CTRs.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Special Investigations Unit of the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anita J. Gay.

A copy of all press releases may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on .

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