$1.9M in Unreported Transactions Leads to Guilty Plea for N. Providence Man

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The owner of a North Providence, R.I. check cashing business pled guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to failing to report nearly two million dollars in transactions as required by the Bank Secrecy Act. An investigation and audit of North Pro Services found that between March 2005 and July 2007, Vincent Aiello, owner of North Pro Services, failed to report dozens of transactions in excess of $10,000, and allowed the same person or persons to affect more than one transaction in excess of $10,000 on the same date without reporting the transactions, also a violation of the Bank Secrecy Act.

U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced the guilty plea which was entered before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi. Aiello is scheduled to be sentenced on September 9, 2010.

A criminal investigation agent for the Internal Revenue Service posing as a customer spoke with Aiello in June 2007, inquiring about cashing checks at North Pro Services.  Aiello instructed the agent to “split up” amounts greater than $10,000 into multiple checks each below $10,000.  Aiello stated that he did not care about the total dollar amount of checks cashed in a single transaction, so long as it consisted of checks that were individually $10,000 or less.  He stated that he has “ways” to get around reporting requirements.

On July 13, 2007, Aiello met in person with the undercover IRS agent at North Pro Services prior to cashing multiple checks totaling $18,700.  During this meeting Aiello clearly stated his knowledge of reporting requirements by noting, “We are supposed to disclose anything over the 10.”  Aiello also mentioned that it would be easier for him to get around filing a report if amounts over $10,000 could be broken up into single checks each being $10,000 or less.

On August 10, 2007, a search was conducted at the office of North Pro. Based on records obtained from that search, records voluntarily disclosed by the defendant, and information obtained during the undercover operation, the IRS determined nearly two million dollars worth of checks were cashed that were not properly reported.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew J. Reich.