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New Jersey Man Convicted of Money Laundering
in Connection With Large-Scale Off Shore Illegal Trust Program Based in Costa
Rica, Reports U.S. Attorney
BOSTON, July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- A New Jersey man was convicted today by a
federal trial jury of conspiring to launder money and laundering money-- most
of it through an illegal offshore trust program that was also used by clients
to move and conceal millions of dollars overseas in an effort to avoid paying
United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Joseph A. Galasso, Special
Agent in Charge of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation
for New England, announced today that RICHARD CASTELLINI, age 36, of 155 Carmel
Road, Bridgeton, New Jersey was convicted by a trial jury sitting before U.S.
District Judge Joseph L. Tauro of money laundering and money laundering conspiracy.
In March of 2001, an indictment was returned charging CASTELLINI and five
others with money laundering conspiracy, money laundering and international
money laundering. The defendants were charged in connection with the concealment
of assets and false statements relative to bankruptcy and bank fraud. The following
co-defendants were previously convicted on the same charges: Wayne Anderson,
age 55, of Squaw Valley, California; Karolyn Grosnickle, age 58, of Hoodsport,
Washington; Richard Marks, age 57, of Los Osos, California and Michael Gonet,
age 49, Stow, Massachusetts. The last defendant, Keith Anderson, age 59, of
Villa Punta Canon, Santa Ana, Costa Rica is awaiting extradition from Costa
Rica in order to face the charges.
Citizens moving money offshore in order to avoid paying taxes or to launder
the proceeds of criminal activity is a significant law enforcement problem
in the United States," stated U.S. Attorney Sullivan. "This sophisticated
group existed for the sole purpose of allowing U.S. citizens to avoid paying
taxes and to hide their assets. Taxpayers should not be allowed to avoid their
legal obligations through the use of organizations such as this one. Such activities
are very serious criminal conduct and will investigated and prosecuted accordingly."
According to evidence presented during the trial, Anderson Ark and Associates
("Anderson Ark") is a Costa Rican offshore trust program that provides
wealthy clients from the United States with the mechanism to move funds, on
which they were obligated to pay taxes, offshore to Costa Rican bank accounts
set up to make it appear that the funds were neither owned nor controlled by
the clients. Anderson Ark clients in fact owned and controlled the accounts.
Anderson Ark helped the clients repatriate the money in various ways, thus
giving them the use of the untaxed money. For example, clients were able to
avoid U.S. taxes (and launder funds) by deducting fictitious consulting invoices
as business expenses on U.S. federal income tax returns.
The evidence at trial established that from approximately March 1999 through
at least December 2000, CASTELLINI assisted an individual who, unbeknownst
to him, was an undercover IRS agent, to launder money that he represented as
concealed assets from a bankruptcy court. The undercover agent told CASTELLINI
that he was seeking to conceal the proceeds of the fraud in connection with
a bankruptcy so that he could invest them in a new business venture. In various
stages, CASTELLINI and the other co-defendants moved the money either overseas,
or through bank accounts in the United States and, after deducting a substantial
fee for laundering the funds, returned it to bank accounts controlled by the
undercover agent. Certain defendants told the undercover agent that they had
laundered assets for other individuals in the past.
In a separate trial in California of two of the co-defendants on related charges,
it was established that Anderson Ark was owned and controlled by Wayne and
Keith Anderson. Grosnickle managed the day-to-day operation in the United States
under the direction of the Andersons. Anderson Ark "information officers" were
responsible for the initial contact with new clients and assisted these clients
with the paperwork necessary to set up offshore corporations in Costa Rica.
Anderson Ark accountants, including Marks, also helped those clients who desired
more complex and secretive offshore companies to set up entities called "Complex
Business Organizations" through Anderson Ark. Clients were then able to
use these Complex Business Organizations to move legally and illegally obtained
funds. They would do so by using fraudulent consulting invoices issued by Anderson
Ark which they used to deduct the payments as business expenses on their personal
income tax returns. Anderson Ark charged fees for setting up the offshore corporations
as well as additional fees for moving the funds and creating the fake tax deductions.
CASTELLINI, a customer of AA, and Gonet, a trust promoter, referred clients
to Anderson Ark and, for a fee, assisted in laundering funds.
Judge Tauro scheduled sentencing for October 16, 2002. CASTELLINI faces up
to 20 years' incarceration, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release,
and a fine of $250,000 to $500,000, on each of the three counts on which he
The case was investigated by Special Agents of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service,
Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison
D. Burroughs in Sullivan 's Economic Crimes Unit.