Scranton Woman Sentenced to Two Years’ Probation, Ordered to Forfeit $431,500 in Currency Transaction Case
SCRANTON—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Ann Pelicci, former employee at the Pelicci Pain Center in Scranton, was sentenced to two years’ probation on November 18, 2015, by Senior United States District Judge Edwin M. Kosik in Scranton, for her involvement in evasion of federal currency transaction reporting requirements by structuring cash transactions at several Northeast Pennsylvania banks between 2011 and 2013.
Ann Pelicci was also ordered to pay a fine of $6,000 and to serve six months of her sentence at her residence on a monitored curfew schedule as directed by the U.S. Probation Office.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the defendant was the wife of Leroy J. Pelicci, a physician and owner/operator of the “Pelicci Pain Relief Center.” An indictment filed in March 2014 alleged that the Peliccis withdrew approximately $431,500 in cash from an investment account and then deposited the cash into account at four Scranton area banks, Fidelity Bank, Citizens Bank, Penn Security Bank and FNCB, in 49 separate transactions, totaling $431,500, most of which were in $9,000 a.m.ounts, just below the amount that would trigger the reporting requirement, between January and July 2012. The accounts were opened in the name of Ann Pelicci.
In the indictment, the government sought forfeiture of $431,500, the amount seized from the Pelicci bank accounts at the time of the indictment. On July 6, 2015, Judge Kosik issued an order directing that the funds were to be forfeited to the government.
The transfer of funds took place after the patient and billing records of the Pelicci Pain Relief Center became the subject of an inquiry by agencies of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Most of the transactions were made by Dr. Pelicci who died shortly after the indictment was filed. Ann Pelicci made several of the transactions and pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the criminal activity.
“Structuring” is the conducting of transactions in currency at one or more financial institutions for the purpose of evading federal reporting requirements. Banking institutions are required to file currency transaction reports (CTRs) with the Internal Revenue Service for each deposit, withdrawal or exchange of currency or other payment that involves currency of more than $10,000. The law also prohibits evading or attempting to evade the reporting requirements or attempting to cause banks to fail to file CTRs.
The investigation was conducted by the Scranton office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski with the assistance of the United States Attorney’s Office’s Victim Rights and Asset Recovery Unit.