Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; John V. Gilles, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announced that defendant Abbas Hachem was arrested on May 22, 2012 on charges in an indictment filed in South Florida on December 6, 2011. The 250-count indictment charges him with violations of the currency transaction reporting requirements from about January 2007 through March 2011, in violation of Title 31, United States Code, Sections 5331(a) and 5324(b)(1). The defendant made his initial appearance in court yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry L. Garber. A pre-trial detention hearing is scheduled for May 31, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.
The indictment alleges that Abbas Hachem and his co-defendant Mohamad Hachem conspired and failed to file required currency transaction reports on cash payments in amounts over $10,000, which were received in connection with the operation of Coastal Rags Inc., a business that was owned and operated by defendants Mohamad Hachem and Abbas Hachem.
If convicted, Abbas Hachem faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to five years in prison on each of the two charged conspiracy counts and up to 10 years in prison on each charged substantive failure to file count.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and IRS-CID. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Walleisa.