SAN FRANCISCO – LAWFUEL – Legal News Daily – United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced that four individuals were arrested, (one outstanding –outside the country) yesterday on a 52 count federal grand jury indictment charging Shun An Chee, Myint Myint Lwin, Pamela Yee, Ma Myo Myo Thein, Khin Htwe Maung (a.k.a. Yuan Ma Lim a.k.a. Khin Htwe), with conspiracy, structuring and operating an unlicensed money transmittal business in Daly City, Calif. These charges are the result of a year-long investigation by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
According to the indictment, between September 2001 and January 2006, Shun An Chee, Myint Myint Lwin, Pamela Yee, Ma Myo Myo Thein and Khin Htwe Maung (a.k.a. Yuan Maw Lim, a.k.a. Khin Htwe), operated a money transmittal business without a money transmitting license. Through the business, the defendants received funds and wire transferred approximately $6,387,035, from their bank accounts to persons and entities in Asia including the People’s Republic of China, Bangkok, Thailand and Hong Kong.
The indictment also charges the following defendants with structuring currency transactions for the purpose of avoiding the federal reporting requirements.
Chee: from 5/29/03 to 10/06/04 — $256,459.00
Lwin: from 4/28/03 to 3/08/05 — $449,366.21
Yee: from 2/23/04 to 4/28/05 — $26,050.00
Muang: from 8/03/04 to 01/19/05 — $107,294.30
Title 18, United States Code § 1960 prohibits conducting, controlling, managing or supervising a money transmitting business without a license, in a State where the conduct of such a business without a license is punishable as a misdemeanor or a felony under state law. California Financial Code requires a money transmitting license in order to operate a money remittance service.
Lwin and Chee are currently in custody and face a detention hearing before Magistrate Judge James Larson on September 8, 2006, at 9:30 a.m. The first appearance for all of the defendants before U.S. District Court Judge Maxine Chesney is scheduled for September 27, 2006, at 2:30 p.m.
The maximum statutory penalty for each count of operating an unlicensed money transmittal business in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1960 is five years in prison 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, these defendants must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Robin Harris is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Tyle Doerr.