Greenwich nail salon owner sentenced

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, recently mannounced that Jae Hee Yang, 58, of Englewood, N.J., and owner of Old Greenwich-based nail salon Tip Top Nails, was sentenced to three years of probation for currency structuring and immigration offenses.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between May and September of 2009, Ms. Yang made 15 cash withdrawals in increments ranging from $4,000 to $8,000 and totaling $100,000, from a bank in New Jersey where she maintained a business checking account. The currency was generated from the operation of Tip Top Nails.

At the time, she knew that the bank was required to issue a report for a currency transaction in excess of $10,000, and that by conducting her financial transactions in amounts less than $10,001, she intended to evade the transaction reporting requirements.

Federal law requires all financial institutions to file a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) for currency transactions that exceed $10,000. To evade the filing of a CTR, individuals will often structure their currency transactions so that no single transaction exceeds $10,000. Structuring involves the repeated depositing or withdrawal of amounts of cash less than the $10,000 limit, or the splitting of a cash transaction that exceeds $10,000 into smaller cash transactions in an effort to avoid the reporting requirements. Even if the deposited funds are derived from a legitimate means, financial transactions conducted in this manner are still in violation of federal criminal law.

In addition, Tip Top Nails employed individuals who were unauthorized aliens not permitted to work in the U.S., paid the aliens in cash rather than by check as it did with legal employees, and transported the aliens between New York and Greenwich daily.

This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service — Criminal Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed. On Aug. 28, 2012, Ms. Yang pleaded guilty to one count of structuring currency transactions to evade reporting requirements and one count of employing an unauthorized alien.

At her sentencing by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford, she was also ordered to forfeit $100,000 and perform 150 hours of community service.

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