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Financial Crimes
06/13/2008

2 admit illegal currency structuring

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Nora R. Dannehy, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Bruce M. Foucart, special agent-in-charge of ICE Office of Investigations in Boston, today announced that Richard Sbordone, 53, of Cheshire, and Mi Song Yi, 44, formerly of Stamford, each have pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to structure currency transactions in amounts of less than $10,000.  Senior United States District Judge Peter C. Dorsey accepted their pleas of guilty on June 3 and June 12, respectively.  This matter was investigated by ICE, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Connecticut State Police, and the Wallingford Police Department. 

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, in approximately February 2005, Sbordone and Yi conspired to engage in a series of currency transactions in amounts less than $10,000, knowing that a report was required for currency transactions in amounts in excess of $10,000.

Federal law requires all financial institutions to file a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) for currency transactions that exceed $10,000.  To evade the filing of a CTR, individuals will often structure their currency transactions so that no single transaction exceeds $10,000.  Structuring involves the repeated depositing or withdrawal of amounts of cash less than the $10,000 limit, or the splitting of a cash transaction that exceeds $10,000 into smaller cash transactions in an effort to avoid the reporting requirements.  Even if the deposited funds are derived from a legitimate means, financial transactions conducted in this manner are still in violation of federal criminal law.

Sbordone and Yi are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 5, 2008, at which time each faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.  They also have agreed to forfeit more than $100,000 in cash that was seized in May 2005 during the execution of search warrants at their homes and their former business, Osaka Sauna in Wallingford, Connecticut.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Krishna R. Patel.