OAKLAND – LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs – United States A…

OAKLAND – LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs – United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced that on Thursday, October 26, 2006, a federal grand jury in Oakland indicted Kirby Ward Blackmon, with three counts of money laundering and 31 counts of failure to report currency transactions. The indictment was placed under seal pending Mr. Blackmon’s arrest. Mr. Blackmon was arrested the following day and made his initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Wayne D. Brazil, when the indictment was unsealed.

According to the indictment, Mr Blackmon, 57, of Castro Valley is alleged to have operated a check cashing business called KNZ Check Cashing (KNZ) in Hayward, California. The indictment further alleges that between November 2001 and July 2002; and August 2005 through September 2005; Mr. Blackmon knowingly failed to file currency transaction reports (for cash transactions in excess of $10,000) associated with cashing checks through KNZ. In total, Mr. Blackmon is alleged to have cashed thirty-one checks totaling over $1.1 million. In addition to knowingly failing to file cash transaction reports, the indictment alleges that Mr. Blackmon laundered money by conducting financial transactions involving property represented to be proceeds from the sale stolen property and failed to file currency transaction reports on the cashed checks.

Mr. Blackmon was arrested on October 27, 2006, and at his initial appearance in Oakland, held on the same day, Mr. Blackmon was released after signing a $100,000 bond. The next appearance is set before United States District Judge Sandra Brown Armstrong in Oakland on November 14, 2006, at 9 a.m. for a status hearing.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count of failure to report currency transactions in violation of Title 31 U.S.C. § § 5324 (a)(1) and 5324(d)(2) is 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $500,000. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of money laundering in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(3)(c) is 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

An indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Mr. Blackmon must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Shashi Kewalramani is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Lead Legal Assistant Cynthia Daniel. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

Further Information:

Case #:CR 06-00713 SBA

A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.

Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.

Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at [email protected]

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