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Raleigh County Man Sentenced In Check Cashing Scheme

Reported: Feb. 7, 2014 11:00 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- A Raleigh County man has been sentenced for his role in a check cashing scheme.

Donald R. “Duke” McGann, 62, of Hinton was sentenced to three years of probation, the first two of which are to be served on home confinement, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin’s Office.

McGann was previously convicted of tax evasion and structuring cash withdrawals from various banks in southern West Virginia as part of a larger check cashing scheme orchestrated with several coal operators.

“Structuring” involves the breaking down of cash transactions in amounts of $10,000 or less for the purpose of avoiding a financial institution’s reporting requirements to the IRS.

As part of the scheme, McGann would provide a coal operator a bogus invoice reflecting the delivery of goods or services. The coal operator then provided McGann a check, which was deposited into McGann’s checking account. Sometimes with the aid of others, McGann withdrew the cash from his checking account in increments of $10,000 or less to avoid the bank’s reporting requirement. McGann returned the cash to the coal operator less a 10-percent fee. The cash was used to pay cash wages or otherwise kept by the coal operator as a tax-free windfall.

In 2009 alone, McGann cashed more than $770,000 checks for three different coal operators.

This case was investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigative Division that focused on James Trent, 53, of Rock View, Wyoming County, and others in a larger tax evasion and structuring scheme. Trent was sentenced on Nov. 15, 2013 to three years in prison for tax evasion.



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