Two lawyers with New Jersey law firm Sommer and Engelhart have pleaded guilty to conspiring to structure financial transactions, admitting they broke up more than $350,000 in cash into amounts under $10,000 and deposited it into a lawyer's trust account at TD Bank, federal prosecutors in Newark said.
Goldie Sommer, 61, of Montville, and Edward Engelhart, 61, of Rockaway, received the cash from a client in mid-2010, court documents stated. They immediately began depositing the money in even dollar amounts, keeping the amounts under $10,000 to prevent TD Bank from filing currency transaction reports — activity that violates the Bank Secrecy Act.
Court documents did not identify the source of the funds. When sentenced, Sommer and Engelhart could each face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division.
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