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Clinton man pleads guilty in federal case

A Clinton man has pleaded guilty to structuring cash deposits to avoid federal reporting requirements.

U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Thyer and Christopher Henry an IRS special agent, announced that Richard Helus entered the guilty plea in a a hearing held before U.S. District Judge D.P. Marshall Jr.

Helus faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Helus and his wife, April, 42, were indicted in December 2011, on charges of structuring and bankruptcy fraud. The indictment also alleged that they conspired with each other to knowingly and fraudulently conceal $119,520.00 in cash in their possession.

Evidence presented during the plea hearing revealed that between Feb. 9, 2009, and April 14, 2009, Richard Helus withdrew $72,000.00 from one of his bank accounts in a series of eight separate transactions, each one below $10,000. On Sept. 30, 2009, the Heluses filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. Between Dec. 1, 2009, and Feb. 11, 2010, Richard Helus deposited $119,520 into his bank accounts through 21 separate transactions, each one below $10,000. He admitted that he purposely structured the currency transactions with the intent to evade federal reporting requirements. As part of his plea, he agreed to forfeit all his interest in approximately $101,413.65 seized from his three bank accounts by the United States. An agreement with April Helus was also reached under which she forfeited her interest in the seized funds.The Indictment currently pending against her was dismissed.

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