Two Shreveport Business Owners/Operators Forfeit $1.3 Million For Assisting Drug Traffickers In Money Laundering/Wire Fraud Scheme
SHREVEPORT - , La. - Acting Special Agent in Charge Joseph W. Shepherd announced on August 26, 2013 that William Paul Boyter, 76, Michael Paul Boyter, 51, and Antony Reuben Riley, 49, all of Shreveport, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote to charges of conspiracy, money laundering, tax evasion, failure to comply with federal banking regulations, and wire fraud. Also charged as defendants in the case, were two businesses operated by the three defendants: Mike’s Auto Sales Inc. and A-1 Auto Finance Company.
According to evidence presented in the 19-count superseding indictment filed on September 19, 2012, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to commit money laundering beginning in 1996 through November 2010. The defendants’ scheme revolved around the sale and financing of used and new vehicles to individuals who derived, or represented that they derived, significant income from the distribution of illegal drugs. The defendants knowingly accepted cash proceeds from drug dealers, allowed vehicle purchases in the names of nominees, and falsified records of payments received. The defendants provided false information to law enforcement agencies, including the Shreveport Police Department and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, to facilitate the release of vehicles seized from drug dealers.
In 2009 and 2010, the FBI conducted multiple “sting” operations directing cooperating individuals to purchase vehicles in the names of nominees and using large cash payments towards the purchase of those vehicles. These operations proved that the defendants readily accepted large amounts of money thought to be drug proceeds and skimmed cash from down payments by manipulating records to show lower sales prices and reduced amounts of down payments.
The indictment also charges several violations of The Bank Secrecy (BSA), which requires that businesses, including motor vehicle dealerships, take a number of precautions against financial crimes. One such precaution is filing and reporting certain data indicative of money laundering, including cash transactions over $10,000 on a Form 8300. The indictment charges five counts of failure to file a Form 8300 and three counts of filing a false Form 8300.
“The defendants have admitted to their involvement in assisting drug traffickers in their illegal activities that took place at Mike’s Auto Sales and A-1 Auto Finance,” said United States Attorney Stephanie Finley. “They sold vehicles to drug dealers and used the money to enrich themselves. They further broke the law by attempting to hide the proceeds of the illegally obtained wealth by lying on tax forms and not reporting the income. We thank all of the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies who participated in this investigation.”
The defendants also agreed to forfeit the property of Mike’s Auto Sales and A-1 Auto Finance as well as a money judgment in the amount of $1.3 million. All three defendants are scheduled to be sentenced in January 2014. This enforcement and prosecution activity is the culmination of an investigation dubbed Operation NOMAS and conducted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF). OCDETF is a joint multi-agency group consisting of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies with a cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking. Investigations of businesses that assist drug dealers in spending and hiding their criminal proceeds is an important part of the OCDETF mission.
Operation NOMAS was a jointly conducted investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northwest Louisiana Violent Crimes Task Force, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, U.S. Marshals Service, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Shreveport Police Department, Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bossier City Police Department, Louisiana State Police, the Louisiana National Guard Counter-Drug Task Force, DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office in Marshall, Texas.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Allison D. Bushnell, Cytheria D. Jernigan, and Richard A. Willis are prosecuting this case.