Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Page 1


Attorney Pleads Guilty to Making Illegal Bank Deposits


From Staff and Wire Service Reports


A Montebello Attorney who had allegedly funneled more than $300,000 in cash through seven different bank accounts pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiracy to  structure cash transactions and one count of subscribing to a false tax return.

According to U.S. Attorney of the Central District of California’s spokesman Thom Mrozek, Anthony Luna, 71, had received the money as cash as payment for his legal services and rental payments on properties he owned. With his accomplice daughter and brother, he deposited the funds in amounts of less than $10,000 to evade federal reporting requirements. Luna also stashed money in several safety deposit boxes until it could be deposited in the accounts.

According to Mrozek, at one point, when he and his daughter tried to make multiple cash deposits of $7,000 each into U.S. Bank’s South Pasadena branch, a teller requested information top fill out a form to satisfy the reporting requirements of the institution. Luna then canceled the transaction, telling the teller words to the effect that  he wouldn’t bother, because the government always tried to take his money.

Besides the cash transaction structuring conspiracy,  Luna pleaded guilty to subscribing to a false tax return for 2008. Luna admitted that he reported gross receipts or returns of $104,225. But in fact, Luna received $301,279 in gross receipts and sales during 2008. Thus, Luna understated his federal income tax liability for 2008 by $66,529.

Luna pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank, who is expected to sentence Luna Aug. 8. At that time, Luna could face a maximum sentence according to statute of eight years in federal prison.

Luna’s daughter, Dianne Sanchez, also known as Dianne Luna Mejia of Alhambra, pleaded guilty also to the charges of conspiracy to structure cash transactions. She could face up to five years in prison when she is sentenced July 1.

Fred Luna, of Camarillo, a man of 70 who lives in Camarillo, pleaded guilty on Feb. 2 to a single count of structuring financial transaction. Luna’s brother faces up to five years in prison when he ids sentenced by Judge Fairbank on May 2.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation department.


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