FBI could be investigating JCE for embezzlement after Bank of America account closure in the US
New York: Various intelligence agencies, among which include the FBI, IRS, police agencies, and other others, are likely to have in their possession reports from Bank Of America, an institution that was forced to close the account opened by the Dominican Consulate of New York for the use of the Central Electoral Board (JCE). The reports detail multiple cash withdrawals, which triggered red flags at the financial institution.
Under federal reporting requirements, banks and other financial institutions report purchases of cashier’s checks, treasurer’s checks, cash withdrawals, bank drafts, traveler’s checks, and money orders with a face value of more than $ 10,000 when submitting currency transaction reports. The bank must fill out IRS Form 8300-SP, in which it reports cash outlays in excess of $ 10,000, received or paid.
The investigation could even be much broader, reaching people or institutions who received cash in excess of $ 10,000, who would also be in trouble if they didn’t file IRS Form 8300-SP. If they received the money and did not declare it by paying taxes, they could be found to have committed a federal crime classified as fraud against the US Treasury.
Recently, Gianilda Licelot Díaz Fernández, Administrative Assistant of the OPREE of New York, admitted in an interview with local and Dominican media, that this agency of the JCE handled more than 800 thousand dollars in cash from an account opened in the name of the Consulate, for the use of the JCE, which according to the same official source, was used by electoral officials in the July 5 elections, and whose account was closed by Bank Of America for an alleged dubious handling of proceeds.
Last week the former Dominican Consul in NY, Carlos Castillo, the Administrative Officer of the JCE in New York, Gianilda Licelot Díaz Fernández, and the former director of the JCE offices in NY, Rafael González – both the complaining diplomat and the two highest JCE officials in the US – confirmed that the discretionary bank withdrawals were made at the request of the director of the Dominican Vote Abroad, Gilberto Cruz Herasme.
When this happens, the banking institutions, along with the federal and local authorities, open an investigation that produces a report in which the people involved probably appear. Suspects should prepare their defense on the basis of showing supporting documents, such as copies of IRS Forms 8300-SP and other evidence that can identify the money trail.
If the evidence is found to be insufficient, then we would be expecting criminal charges to be brought before the prosecutors of New York, New Jersey or the states where they alleged acts were committed. The acts could be classified as embezzlement, which is a felony, accompanied by a possible fraud against the US Treasury, due to the taxes that could have been intentionally omitted when payments were received or paid.
The situation is so tense that on Monday the Central Electoral Board (JCE) itself confirmed that Bank Of America closed the official account of the Offices for the Registry of Voters Abroad (OPREE) and the Coordination of Electoral Logistics Abroad (OCLEE), both units belonging to the JCE, because, supposedly, the withdrawal limit of $ 10,000 established by the United States Department of the Treasury was exceeded. The current president of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), Román Jáquez Liranzo, informed a Dominican newspaper on Monday that this week the JCE will release the results of an investigation carried out by the voting commission abroad, that he himself is driving in relation to the scandal.
The JCE can investigate what it wants or not, it can even have its own version of events, and it is important that it does so; but it is also likely that things have already transcended too far. In the US, those investigating are the intelligence agencies, which will determine whether or not there was fraud in the reported banking operations. People who are found guilty of the felony of embezzlement in the state of New York face a penalty of 5 to 10 years in prison, depending on the criminal charges that are raised against each of the defendants. In New Jersey, if it is third degree it would be 5 years, if it is second degree, it would be 5 to 10 years and if it is first degree, it would be 10 to 20 years in prison and a $ 250,000 fine for each person who is found guilty of the felony of embezzlement and worse if these charges are complemented by others such as fraud to the United States Treasury for not declaring payments and collections greater than ten thousand dollars.