Woman guilty of structuring $84,000 in deposits

The federal courthouse at Bentsen Tower, located on Bicentennial Boulevard in McAllen, is seen in this August 2018 file photo. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)

After a two-day trial, a jury found a McAllen woman guilty of attempting to structure more than $80,000 in bank deposits in an effort to evade federal reporting requirements, court notes show.

After closing arguments early Wednesday, jurors deliberated the remainder of Wednesday afternoon in the federal trial against Selene M. Suarez, which began Monday and ended with a verdict Wednesday afternoon, finding Suarez was guilty on four of the original six counts of structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements, according to court records.

The verdict came a day after the government rested its case against Suarez, who was represented at trial by defense attorneys Christopher Sully and Alejandro Ballesteros.

According to court notes, Suarez’s attorneys moved to have the sixth count dismissed after the government rested its case and the court agreed, leaving jurors to deliberate on five counts of structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements.

In early March, Suarez pleaded not guilty to knowingly attempting to structure more than $84,000 in bank deposits in an effort to evade federal reporting requirements, according to a four-page superseding indictment against her.

Suarez entered not guilty pleas for all six counts of structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements, court notes show. The 42-year-old woman was originally indicted on one count of structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements on Jan. 24 until most recently, when on March 12 the government filed a superseding indictment with the five additional counts, documents show.

According to federal banking guidelines, banks and credit unions are required to report cash deposits of $10,000 or more, or if a series of smaller deposits are made within a 24-hour period and their combined total is more than $10,000.

Government prosecutors allege that Suarez made 14 bank deposits between Jan. 30, 2013, and May 4, 2015, that were meant to be structured in a way to avoid and evade reporting requirements.