Baraboo Restaurant Owner Receives 48-Month Sentence for Structuring Financial Transactions
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 22, 2009|
MADISON, WI—Stephen P. Sinnott, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Ismail Beciri, 54, Baraboo, Wisconsin, was sentenced yesterday by Chief U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to 48 months in federal prison for structuring financial transactions. Judge Crabb noted that Beciri obtained $616,726 in checks from an elderly customer of Beciri’s restaurant—Kristina’s in Baraboo—and then structured the transactions by cashing the checks in amounts less than $10,000. Judge Crabb criticized Beciri for taking advantage of the customer’s friendship by taking such a large loan with little chance of repayment.
The investigation showed that Beciri borrowed $616,726 from a regular customer of Kristina’s Restaurant. Beciri instructed the customer to write the checks in small amounts so that he could use them to pay food distributors. However, Beciri actually transacted the checks for cash and drove to multiple banks and multiple branches of the same bank to avoid having “Currency Transaction Reports” generated by the banks for cash transactions exceeding $10,000. For the same purpose, Beciri also had numerous associates cash other checks from the same customer and return the proceeds to him. Acting United States Attorney Sinnott stated that the charges followed an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy M. O'Shea.