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Saco Attorney Pleads Guilty to $177,500 Money Laundering Conspiracy

APR 29 (PORTLAND, Maine) -  John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Gary Prolman, Esq., 52, of Saco, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Portland to conspiracy to launder $177,500 worth of marijuana trafficking proceeds.

According to court records, between 2011 and October 2013, David Jones and others illegally distributed hundreds of pounds of marijuana in Maine and elsewhere. Between June and September 2012, Prolman laundered about $177,500 worth of those drug proceeds by: (1) taking cash from Jones to purchase an interest in Prolman’s sports agency business; (2) illegally structuring cash deposits and cashier’s check purchases to avoid federal currency reporting requirements; and (3) using structured cashier’s checks to jointly purchase real estate with Jones in a transaction where only Prolman’s name appeared on the deed as the owner. 

Prolman received three separate $50,000 cash installment payments, largely consisting of low denomination bills delivered in a backpack.  When Prolman attempted to deposit more than $10,000 from the first $50,000 installment into bank accounts he controlled, a bank teller advised him of the federal currency reporting requirement for deposits exceeding $10,000.  Under federal law, financial institutions that receive more than $10,000 in cash from a customer are required to report the transaction to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Structuring occurs when a customer breaks up cash transactions into multiple increments of less than $10,000 to avoid this cash transaction reporting requirement.  Structuring is illegal under federal law and is commonly associated with the laundering of drug proceeds.  After being advised of the reporting requirement by the bank teller, Prolman structured numerous cash deposits and paid $60,409 to close the joint real estate purchase using seven structured cashier’s checks. 
Prolman faces up to 20 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, or both.  He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the IRS, and resulted from the ongoing effort of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.


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