Smuggling Cash Across Iraq’s Borders” mentioned Donnie the former DEA agent who had trained Iraqi border personnel to interdict bulk-cash smugglers.  To help detect these smugglers, governmental authorities also use declaration forms to track the cross-border movement of cash and monetary instruments.

As mentioned by my April 13, 2009 “Asset Search News Roundup“, one such declaration form is the “FinCen 105”.  It generally requires disclosure to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, when individuals physically transport, mail or ship more than $10,000 in cash or monetary instruments into the U.S.:

(To View The Complete Form, Click On The Image)

To avoid triggering the mandatory filing of a FinCen 105, Virginia medical doctor Andrew Silva had illegally structured cash by smuggling it in packages containing less than $10,000.  During an abusive offshore tax avoidance scheme, Dr. Silva mailed these packages of cash from Switzerland into the U.S., as outlined by his “statement of facts” filed in U.S.A. v. Andrew B. Silva.

Dr. Silva’s tax fraud scheme is alleged to have been facilitated through an attorney working at a law firm located in Zurich, Switzerland.  Dr. Silva’s criminal information identified the attorney as an “unindicted co-conspirator” who was a member of the New York bar and had earned law degrees from the University of Zurich and New York University.

Court documents and “Case Is Said to Link HSBC to U.S. Tax Evasion Inquiry“, mentioned that Dr. Silva had inherited $250,000 in 1997.  Dr. Silva hid this money from the IRS by maintaining it in Switzerland in a nominee bank account held by a sham trust.  The sham trust was allegedly formed in Liechtenstein by the attorney in Zurich, who also reportedly managed the Swiss bank account.

Said attorney is believed to have disbursed cash from the Swiss account by providing Dr. Silva with a wrapped brick of $100,000 in cash and a separate bundle of $20,000.00 in cash.  A Swiss banker may have similarly provided Dr. Silva with monies from the Swiss account via a brick of $100,000 in cash and a bundle with $15,000 in cash.

Dr. Silva smuggled about $210,000 of the above-described cash by mailing it in approximately 25 packages from Switzerland into the U.S.  He is also believed to have smuggled about $18, 000 in cash while an airline passenger at Swiss-U.S. border crossings.  As Dr. Silva’s plea agreement explained, he was convicted of violating 18 U.S.C §371 (Conspiracy) and 18 U.S.C. §1001 (False Statement).  His sentencing is scheduled for May 7, 2010 in Virginia before U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady.

Copyright 2010 Fred L. Abrams