Car Dealer Convicted of Money Laundering
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal jury in Buffalo has convicted Jerry Robbins, 44, of Cheektowaga, NY, owner of Finish Line Auto Sales on Bailey Avenue in Buffalo, of money laundering and failure to report cash transactions of $10,000 or more. The convictions, which came after a nearly two week jury trial, carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joel L. Violanti and Edward H. White, who handled the prosecution of the case, stated that Robbins helped drug dealers launder proceeds of their illicit business by purchasing high end used cars. During these sales, the drug dealers would pay the defendant cash for cars ranging in price from $10,500 to $45,000. Robbins used the name of another person in sales and title paperwork to disguise the true purchaser and source of the money.
In addition, in an effort to conceal the amount of money received for the sale of the car, Robbins listed that only a small deposit was received from the third party nominee, when, in fact, the drug dealers had paid cash in full for the car. For each of these types of transactions, Robbins also failed to file the proper forms with the Internal Revenue Service indicating the receipt of over $10,000 cash for the sale of the car, as required by law.
The verdict is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Shantelle P. Kitchen, Acting Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, under the direction of Commissioner Barbara J. Fiala.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 5, 2015, in Buffalo, before U.S. District Judge Thomas McAvoy, who presided over the trial of the case.