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Hartselle Enquirer

Somerville man convicted of structuring currency transactions

DECATUR – A federal jury Wednesday convicted the owner of a Somerville recycling business for structuring currency transactions totaling more than $500,000 to evade reporting requirements of U.S. banks and financial institutions.

The jury in U.S. District Judge Virginia E. Hopkins’ courtroom in Decatur convicted Jerry Dwayne Lang, 45, on 70 of 85 counts of structuring cash transactions with two separate banks between February and October 2008. Lang’s transactions were designed to avoid the legal requirement for banks to report currency transactions in excess of $10,000 to the federal government.

According to court records, Lang, a scrap metal dealer who ran C & J Recycling, structured his transactions as follows:

Lang would sell scrap metal to American Recycling, which would issue him multiple checks of less than $10,000, instead of one check of more than $10,000. Lang would cash the checks at different times.

“This type of structuring allows for significant cash transactions to occur using the U.S. financial system, but with no way to track the transactions. This is criminal behavior,” U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance said.

The maximum penalty for structuring transactions is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty can be enhanced to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine if it is determined that the transactions occurred while another law of the United States was violated, or if the transactions are part of a pattern of illegal activity involving more than $100,000 in a 12-month period.

The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Davis Barlow and Pat Meadows prosecuted the case.