Cincinnati Attorney Gets 2 Years In Prison For Illegal Financial Transactions

(DAYTON, OH)  -- Clyde Bennett II, 43, of Mason, was sentenced in United States District Court on Friday to 24 months imprisonment for illegally structuring bank deposits of cash in an attempt to avoid federal regulations requiring financial institutions to report large cash deposits.

Gregory G. Lockhart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Jose Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Detroit Division announced the sentence, handed down by United States District Judge Thomas M. Rose.

Bennett pleaded guilty to one count of illegal structuring on Sept. 26, 2007. Bennett has been a licensed attorney in Ohio since 1992. He has been practicing in the areas of criminal defense, criminal law and white-collar crime in both state and federal courts.

According to a statement of facts filed with his plea, Bennett unlawfully structured various transactions during a five-month period between Aug. 15, 2002 and Jan. 15, 2003 totaling approximately $124,300.

Federal regulations require financial institutions to file a report whenever there is a payment or deposit of more than $10,000 in currency. Bennett admitted to breaking large deposits into smaller ones in an attempt to evade the reporting requirements.

Bennett also admitted that some of the transactions originated from income he received but did not report to the IRS. Bennett agreed to file corrected income tax returns for 2003 and 2004 within 120 days of his plea. Bennett was also ordered to pay a fine of $4,000 and will serve two years of supervised release at the conclusion of his jail term.

Report: U.S. Attorney's Office