LAWFUEL – US Law News, Law Jobs – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, announced today that on February 16, 2007, defendant John A. Garcia, a West Palm Beach attorney, was sentenced after an earlier guilty plea to all four counts of a criminal Information, Case No. 06-80128-Cr-Hurley. Garcia pled guilty to three counts of illegal structuring of cash deposits to avoid a currency transaction report, in violation of Title 31, United States Code, Section 5324(a)(3), and one count of making a false statement to agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001. As part of the resolution, Garcia paid a total of $75,000 in criminal forfeitures.
Garcia was sentenced to serve eighteen months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release. He also forfeited $75,000 to the United States Government. As part of the guilty plea, Garcia admitted structuring cash transactions in his bank account to avoid the filing of currency transaction reports that would have disclosed the source of the monies and their amounts; he also admitted that he lied to Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration when he said that: (1) he had no financial or equitable interest in the construction of a residence in the name of Joel McDermott located in a real estate development known as “Olympia;” and (2) he did not purchase cashier’s checks from Bank of America for the residence of Joel McDermott located in a real estate development known as “Olympia.” In fact, however, Garcia had a financial and equitable interest in the residence in “Olympia” and had purchased several cashier’s checks at Bank of America with cash given to him by Joel McDermott. Thereafter, Garcia caused those cashier’s checks to be tendered to Minto Homes for the benefit of Joel McDermott and a home McDermott was building in “Olympia..”
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the DEA Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen Carlton and John S. Kastrenakes, and Asset Forfeiture Assistant United States Attorney Antonia Barnes.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.