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Declaration in Support of Application for Warrant of Arrest In Rem

I, Terry B. Tate, after being duly sworn, depose and state as follows:
1.

I am a Special Agent with United States Secret Service and am currently

assigned to the Raleigh Resident Office. As part of my duties I analyze financial


transactions to detect possible structuring and money laundering activities. My duties
include the investigation of the proceeds of illegal activities, specifically money
laundering violations of 18 U.S.C. 1956 and 1957, as well as violations of 31 U.S.C.
5324 and 5331.
2.

This affidavit is made in support of an application for a warrant of arrest in rem for

all monies and things of value up to $359,557.25 contained in better business checking
account number 802070987 and business sweep account number 802121715 at Capital
Bank in the name of Marla Bednar d/b/a Marla Enterprises. Probable cause exists to
believe that such monies are subject to seizure and forfeiture to the United States
pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 5317(c)(2), on the ground that they constitute property involved
in, or traceable to, withdrawals structured to avoid currency reporting requirements, in
violation of 31 U.S.C. 5324.
I.

Currency Transaction Reports and Structuring


3.

Title 31, United States Code, Section 5313 and 31 C. F. R. 1010 of the

Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) require any financial institution that engages with a customer in
a currency transaction (i.e., a deposit or withdrawal) in excess of $l0,000 to report the
transaction to the Internal Revenue Service on Form 4789, Currency Transaction Report
("CTR"). These regulations also require that multiple transactions be treated as a ....u..._,,...,

Case 5:14-cv-00476-FL Document 1-1 Filed 08/22/14 Page 1 of 7

transaction if the financial institution has knowledge that they are by, or on behalf of, the
same person, and they result in either currency received or disbursed by the financial
institution totaling more than $10,000 during any one business day. CTR Forms require,
among other things, the identity of the individual who conducted the transaction and the
individual or organization for whom the transaction was completed.
4.

CTRs are often used by law enforcement to uncover a wide variety of

illegal activities, including narcotics trafficking and money laundering. Many individuals
involved in these illegal activities are aware of such reporting requirements and take
active steps to cause financial institutions to fail to file CTRs. These active steps are
often referred to as "smurfing" or "structuring" and involve making multiple cash
deposits or withdrawals in amounts of $10,000 or less. Structuring is prohibited by Title
31, United States Code, Section 5324(a)(3) and not only involves the proceeds of illegal
activities but also legal source income. The law is clear that "structuring" in and of itself
is a felony violation.
5.

In order to establish the crime of structuring transactions to evade reporting

requirements, the government must prove that, for the purposes of evading the reporting
requirements of section 5313(a) or any regulation prescribed under any such section, the
subject structured or assisted in structuring, or attempted to structure or assist in
structuring, any transaction with one or more domestic financial institutions in amounts
of$10,000 or less.

Case 5:14-cv-00476-FL Document 1-1 Filed 08/22/14 Page 2 of 7

II.

Marla Bednar and Thomas Bednar d/b/a Marla Enterprises have structured
$246,230.00 in cash withdrawals
6.

On January 28, 2011, Marla Bednar d/b/a Marla Enterprises, 1420 Falls

River Ave., Raleigh, NC 27614, opened Capital Bank better business checking account
number 802070987. Marla Bednar and Thomas Bednar are listed on the bank signature
card as signers on the account.

On Febraury 23, 2011, Marla Bednar d/b/a Marla

Enterprises, 1420 Falls River Ave., Raleigh, NC 27614, opened Capital Bank business
sweep account number 802121715. Marla Bednar and Thomas Bednar are listed on the
bank signature card as signers on the account.
7.

I obtained and analyzed records maintained by Capital Bank regarding the

above mentioned accounts. From January 6, 2014 through May 29, 2014, twenty-eight
(28) suspicious cash withdrawals were made from Capital Bank better business checking
account number 802070987. Twenty-three (25) withdrawals were made in amounts just
under the CTR filing threshold; the twenty-sixth is included only because it was made on
a consecutive day with a withdrawal in the amount of $9,500.00; the twenty-seventh and
twenty-eighth are only included because there were two cash transactions in one day
totaling $7,950.00 The withdrawals are as follows:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Date

Amount

01106/14
02/24/14
02/28/14
03/03/14
03/05/14
03/11114
03/18/14

$9850.00
$9500.00
$9700.00
$9300.00
$8820.00
$9950.00
$9870.00

Counter Withdrawal
Check# 1264 (cash)
Check# 1271 (cash)
Check# 1276 (cash)
Check# 1278 (cash)
Check# 1286 (cash)
Check# 1299 (cash)
3

Case 5:14-cv-00476-FL Document 1-1 Filed 08/22/14 Page 3 of 7

8. 03/25/14
9. 03/27/14
10.04/01114
11.04/02/14
12.04/07/14
13.04/09/14
14.04/11114
15.04/15/14
16.04/16/14
17.04/18/14
18.04/29/14
19.05/02/14
20.05/09114
21. 05/15/14
22.05/19/14
23.05/21114
24.05/27/14
25.05/29/14
26.03/10/14
27.02/03/14
28.02/03/14

$9740.00
$9500.00
$9400.00
$9300.00
$9200.00
$8800.00
$9600.00
$9850.00
$8700.00
$9800.00
$9600.00
$9700.00
$9700.00
$8500.00
$9800.00
$8400.00
$8000.00
$9300.00
$4400.00
$4950.00
$3000.00

Check# 1304 (cash)


Counter Withdrawal
Check# 1314 (cash)
Counter Withdrawal
Check # 13 15 (cash)
Counter Withdrawal
Check# 1321 (cash)
Check # 13 26 (cash)
Check# 1332 (cash)
Check# 1336 (cash)
Check# 1355 (cash)
Check# 1360 (cash)
Check# 1367 (cash)
Cash Out Ticket
Check# 1384 (cash)
Check# 1391 (cash)
Check# 1398 (cash)
Check# 1403 (cash)
Counter Withdrawal
Check# 1243 (cash)
Check# 1245 (cash)

TOTAL STRUCTURED $ 246,230.00


Balance after last structured w/d on 5/29/14 (802070987) $ 86,728.96
Balance after last structured w/d on 5/29/14 (802121715) $272,828.29
8.

All of the cash withdrawals were conducted at the Falls of Neuse, NC

Branch by Mr. or Mrs. Bednar.

The withdrawal activity outlined in paragraph 7 is

unusual in that on the days cited, cash was withdrawn from Capital Bank better business
account number 802070987 in amounts that were structured to remain below the CTR
reporting threshold of $10,000.00. The columns in paragraph 7 indicate the date the
withdrawal was made and the amount of each cash withdrawal from better business
account number 802070987.

It should be noted that Capital Bank business sweep

account number 802121715 is used for the purpose of funding and/or acting as overdraft
protection for better business account number 802070987. During the time specified for
4

Case 5:14-cv-00476-FL Document 1-1 Filed 08/22/14 Page 4 of 7

the structuring activity, all debits from business sweep account number 802121715 were
from transfers into better business account number 802070987 or for fees associated with
transactions made from better business account number 802070987. During the time
specified for the structuring activity, all credits into business sweep account number
802121715 were from transfers from better business account number 802070987. Thus,
the accounts are inter-related, with amounts moved back and forth between them.
9.

The North Carolina Secretary of State, Corporations Division, has no

record of Marla Enterprises or any corporations bearing Marla and/or Thomas Bednar
listed as registered agents.
10.

Based on my training and expenence, I know that an individual, or

individuals, who are engaged in structuring cash withdrawals out of an account will make
multiple cash withdrawals from the account within a short period of time. Additionally, I
know that when an individual, or individuals, make separate cash withdrawals out of an
account on the same day or consecutive days, in amounts of $10,000.00 or less, but
aggregating to more than $10,000.00, as indicated in paragraph 7 above, the account
holders are typically engaged in structuring.
11. As a part of the investigation, I also analyzed the Bednar's banking history. I
obtained and analyzed records from First Citizens Bank. On August 11, 2008 Marla
Bednar d/b/a Marla Enterprises, 1420 Falls River Ave., Raleigh, NC 27614, opened First
Citizens Business checking account number 861524703.

Marla Bednar and Thomas

Bednar were listed on the bank signature card as signers on the account. From 8/19/10
through 10/12/10, 13 withdrawals were made from this account under the reportable
5

Case 5:14-cv-00476-FL Document 1-1 Filed 08/22/14 Page 5 of 7

limits for a total of $101,900.00 in structured withdrawals. On or about 9/22/10 a CTR


Reference Guide was provided to Thomas Bednar as well as a copy ofFincen's Notice to
Customers.

On or about 10/13/10, First Citizens Bank discontinued its banking

relationship with the Bednars due to the structuring activity.


12. I obtained and analyzed records from Fifth Third Bank. On October 12, 2010
Marla Bednar d/b/a Marla Enterprises, 1420 Falls River Ave., Raleigh, NC 27614,
opened Fifth Third Bank Business checking account number 7471367057. Marla Bednar
and Thomas Bednar were listed on the bank signature card as signers on the account.
From 10112/10 through 12/01110, 15 cash withdrawals were made from this account
under the reportable limits for a total of $109,390.00 in structured withdrawals.

On or

about 12/9/10, Fifth Third Bank discontinued its banking relationship with the Bednars
due to the structuring activity.
III.

Applicable Forfeiture Principles

13.

I am advised that 31 U.S.C. 5317(c)(2) provides: "Any property involved

in a violation of section 5313, 5316,or 5324 of this title, or any conspiracy to commit any
such violation, and any property traceable to any such violation or conspiracy, may be
seized and forfeited to the United States in accordance with the procedures governing
civil forfeitures in money laundering cases pursuant to section 981(a)(l)(A) of Title 18,
United States Code."
14.

In this case, as shown by the Capital Bank records referenced in this

affidavit, $246,230.00 in cash was withdrawn from better business checking account
6
Case 5:14-cv-00476-FL Document 1-1 Filed 08/22/14 Page 6 of 7

number 802070987 in the name of Marla Bednar d/b/a Marla Enterprises in structured
amounts of$10,000 or less between January 6, 2014 through May 29, 2014. The amounts
remaining in these linked accounts as of the last day of structuring activity, $ 86,728.96
and $272,828.29 (for a total of$ 359.557.25) is subject to forfeiture, in that these funds
facilitated the structuring.
III.

Conclusion
16.

I submit there is probable cause to believe that twenty-eight (28) cash

withdrawals from Capital Bank better business checking account number 802070987 of
Marla Debnar d/b/a Marla Enterprises in the total amount of $246,230.00 have been
structured to evade currency reporting requirements in violation of 31 U.S.C. 5324, and
that all monies and things of value up to $359,557.25 in Capital Bank better business
checking account number 802070987 and business sweep account number 802121715 are
therefore subject to seizure and forfeiture pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 5317(c)(2).
I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed this 22nd day of August, 2014.

Terry B. Tate
Special Agent
United States Secret Service

7
Case 5:14-cv-00476-FL Document 1-1 Filed 08/22/14 Page 7 of 7

~JS

CIVIL COVER SHEET

44 (Rev. 12/07)

The JS 44 civil cover sheet and the information contained herein neither replace nor supplementthe filing and service ofpleadings or other papers as required by law, except as proyided
by local rules of court. This form, approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States in September 1974, is reqmred for the use of the Clerk of Court for the purpose of tmtiatmg
the civil docket sheet. (SEE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE REVERSE OF THE FORM.)
I.

(a)

PLAINTIFFS

DEFENDANTS

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

FUNDS CONTAINED IN THE BETTER BUSINESS


CHECKING ACCOUNT, ET AL.
D
County of Residence of First Listed Defendant
. ;.W. ;. ; a; .k. ;.e________

(b) County of Residence of First Listed Plaintiff

(IN U.S. PLAINTIFF CASES ONLY)

(EXCEPT IN U.S. PLAINTIFF CASES)

NOTE: IN LAND CONDEMNATION CASES, USE THE LOCATION OF THE


LAND INVOLVED.

Attorneys (If Known)

(C) Attorney's (Firm Name, Address, and Telephone Number)

Stephen A. West, Assistant U.S. Attorney, 310 New Bern Ave.,


Suite 800, Ralei h,NC 27601-1461. 919-856-4530
II. BASIS OF JURISDICTION

(Placean"X"inOneBoxOnly)

01: I

U.S. Government
Plaintiff

3 Federal Question
(U.S. Government Not a Party)

U.S. Government
Defendant

a
a
a
a
a
a
a

III. CITIZENSHIP OF PRINCIPAL P ARTIES(Place an "X" in one Box for Plaintiff


(For Diversity Cases Only)
and One Box for Defendant)
PTF
DEF
PTF
DEF
Citizen of This State
I
I
Incorporated qr Principal Place
4
4
ofBusiness In This State

a a

Citizen of Another State

Diversity

a
a
a

a
a
a
a
a

220 Foreclosure
230 Rent Lease & Ejectment
240 Torts to Land
245 Tort Product Liability
290 All Other Real Property

PERSONAL INJURY
310 Airplane
315 Airplane Product
Liability
320 Assault, Libel &
Slander
330 Federal Employers'
Liability
340 Marine
345 Marine Product
Liability
350 Motor Vehicle
355 Motor Vehicle

a 610 Agriculture
PERSONAL INJURY
a 620 Other Food & Drug
362 Personal Injury a 625 Drug Related Seizure
Med. Malpractice
of Property 21 USC 881
365 Personal Injury a 630 Liquor Laws
Product Liability
368 Asbestos Personal
a 640 R.R. & Truck
a 650 Airline Regs.
Injury Product
a 660 Occupational
Liability
PERSONAL PROPERTY
Safety/Health
l!l 690 Other
a 370 Other Fraud
a 371 Truth in Lending
a 380 Other Personal
a 710 Fair Labor Standards
Act
Property Damage
a 385 Property Damage a 720 Labor/Mgmt. Relations
a 730 Labor/Mgmt.Reporting
Product Liability
& Disclosure Act
a
a
a

i!!!!~~~!!!~~~!!!~i!!~a
C
441 Voting
510MotionstoVacate
a
442 Employment
Sentence
a

a
V. ORIGIN

Proceeding

Incorporated and Principal Place


of Business In Another State

Foreign Nation

(Indicate Citizenship of Parties in Item Jll)

II 0 Insurance
120 Marine
130 Miller Act
140 Negotiable lnstmment
!50 Recovery of Overpayment
& Enfc>rcernentofJttdgntentl
!51 Medicare Act
!52 Recovery ofDefaulted
Student Loans
(Excl. Veterans)
!53 Recovery of Overpayment
of Veteran's Benefits
160 Stockholders' Suits
190 Other Contract

i! I Original

a a

443 Housing!
Accommodations
444 Welfare
445 Amer. w/Disabilities Employment
446 Amer. w/DisabilitiesOther
440 Other Civil Rights

Habeas Corpus:
530 General
535 Death Penalty
540 Mandamus & Other
550 Civil Rights
555 Prison Condition

422 Appeal28 usc I 58


423 Withdrawal
28 usc 157

740 Railway Labor Act


7900therLaborLitigation
791 Empl. Ret. Inc.
Security Act

a 463 Habeas Corpus Alien Detainee


a 465 Other lnnnigration

VI. CAUSE OF ACTION

400 State Reapportionment


410 Antitrust
430 Banks and Banking
450 Commerce
460 Deportation
470 Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations
480 Consumer Credit
490 Cable/Sat TV
810 Selective Service
850 Exchange
Securities/Commodities!
875 Customer Challenge
12 USC 3410
890 Other Statutory Actions
891 Agricultural Acts
892 Economic Stabilization Act
893 Environmental Matters
894 Energy Allocation Act
895 Freedom oflnformation
Act
900Appeal ofFee Determination
Under Equal Access
to Justice
950 Constitutionality of
State Statutes

0 4 Reinstated or 0
Reopened

5 Transferr~d ~om 0 6 Multidistrict

Appellate Court

anoth~r dtstnct

from
0 7 Judge
Magistrate
Jud

ent

1-:::B~r-:-ie"='fd"':"e-s-cr"':"i.P.!-tt~.o-n-of":"c-a-us-e-:- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Structuring Kelated Forfeiture


VII. REQUESTED IN
COMPLAINT:
VIII. RELATED CASE(S)
IF

ANY

Appeal to District

0 3 Remanded from

Litigation
s ect
Cite the U.S. 3~!b~t1e under which you are filing (Do not cite jurisdictional statutes unless diversity):

State Court

Actions

(Place an "X" in One Box Only)

0 2 Removed from

a
a
a
a
~~~~~1\1-llllillllll~
a 820 Copyrights
a 830 Patent
a 840 Trademark
a
a
a
--~~~~~a
a 861 HIA (!395ft)
a 862 Black Lung (923)
a
a 863 DIWC/DIWW (405(g))
a 864 SSID Title XVI
a
a 865
a
a

CHECK IF THIS IS A CLASS ACTION


UNDER F.R.C.P. 23
(See instructions):

CHECK YES only if demanded in complaint:


0 Yes
lilJ'No
JURY DEMAND:

DEMAND $

DOCKET NUMBER

JUDGE

/s/ Stephen A. West, Assistant U.S. Attorney

RECEIPT# _ _ _ _ _ AMOUNT _ _ _ _ _ _ __

APPLYING IFP

-----

JUDGE

-----

MAG. JUDGE

Case 5:14-cv-00476-FL Document 1-3 Filed 08/22/14 Page 1 of 1

--------

FILED
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
WESTERN DIVISION
LNO. 5: 14- cvG -' F

z.-tl

AUG 2 2 Z014
JULIE A. RICHARDS, CLERK
US D11B>COURT, I!DNC
BY
OI!PCLK

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,


Plaintiff,
COMPLAINT FOR FORFEITURE
IN REM

vs.
FUNDS CONTAINED IN THE
BETTER BUSINESS CHECKING
ACCOUNT NUMBERED 802070987 AND:
THE BUSINESS SWEEP ACCOUNT
NUMBERED 802121715 AT CAPITAL :
BANK, UP TO $359,557.25, IN
THE NAME OF MARLA BEDNAR D/B/A:
MARLA ENTERPRISES,
Defendants.

The United States of America, by and through the United


States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina,
states as follows:
1.

This is a civil action in rem brought to enforce the

provision of 31 U.S.C. 5317(c) (2), providing for the forfeiture


of any property involved in violations of 31 U.S.C. 5313(A) and
5324(a) (3), or any conspiracy to commit any such violation, and
any property traceable to such violation or conspiracy.
2.

This Court has jurisdiction over this matter by virtue

of 28 U.S.C. 1345 and 1355.

Venue in this district is proper

by virtue of 28 U.S.C. 1395.


3.

The defendants are the funds contained in the Better

Business Checking Account Numbered 802070987 and the Business


1

Case 5:14-cv-00476-FL Document 1 Filed 08/22/14 Page 1 of 4

Sweep Account Numbered 802121715 at Capital Bank, up to


$359,557.25, in the name of Marla Bednar d/b/a Marla Enterprises.
4.

The defendants are located within the jurisdiction of

this Court, them being in the Eastern District of North Carolina.


They are not currently in the custody of the United States.
5.

The potential claimant in this action is Marla Bednar.

6.

The facts and circumstances supporting the forfeiture

of the defendants are contained in Exhibit A, the Declaration of


Special Agent Terry B. Tate of the

u.

S. Secret Service, which is

attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference.


WHEREFORE, the United States of America prays that a warrant
of arrest in rem issue for the arrest of the defendants; that due
notice be given to all parties to appear and show cause why the
forfeiture should not be decreed; that judgment be entered
declaring the defendants forfeited to the United States of
America for disposition according to law; and that the United
States of America be granted such other relief as this Court may
deem just and proper, together with the costs and disbursements
of this action.

Case 5:14-cv-00476-FL Document 1 Filed 08/22/14 Page 2 of 4

Respectfully submitted this 22nd day of August, 2014.


THOMAS G. WALKER
United States Attorney

BY:

A~~

/s/ Stephen A. West


STEPHEN A. WEST
Assistant United States Attorney
Attorney for Plaintiff
Civil Division
310 New Bern Avenue
Federal Building, Suite 800
Raleigh, NC 27601-1461
Telephone:
( 919) 856-4530
Facsimile:
( 919) 856-4821
E-mail: steve.west@usdoj.gov
NC State Bar No. 12586

Case 5:14-cv-00476-FL Document 1 Filed 08/22/14 Page 3 of 4

VERIFICATION
I, Stephen A. West, Assistant United States Attorney for the
Eastern District of North Carolina, declare under penalty of
perjury, as provided by 28

u.s.c.

Section 1746, the following:

That the foregoing Complaint for Forfeiture is based on


reports and information furnished to me by Special Agent Terry B.
Tate of the U. S. Secret Service, and to the best of my
information and belief, is true and correct.
This the 22nd day of August, 2014.

A~~

/s/ Stephen A. West


STEPHEN A. WEST
Assistant United States Attorney
Civil Division

Case 5:14-cv-00476-FL Document 1 Filed 08/22/14 Page 4 of 4