Father, Son Convicted of Bank Fraud and Money Laundering

United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh announced Wednesday that 64-year-old Gary Wayne Thomas of Daphne, Alabama, and 40-year-old Brian Keith Thomas of Birmingham, Alabama, both former residents of Destin, Florida, have been convicted for their involvement in a bank fraud and money laundering scheme.

Both men were charged with conspiracy to structure cash withdrawals and structuring cash withdrawals to avoid the Currency Transaction Reporting (CTR) requirement, conspiring to commit bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Gary Thomas was also charged with money laundering.

Brian Thomas, the son, went to trial during the week of July 22, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers and was convicted of all counts. Brian Thomas is scheduled to be sentenced on November 15, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. by Judge Rodgers. The father, Gary Thomas, pled guilty to all charges today and is scheduled to be sentenced on January 22, 2014, at 9 a.m. by Judge Rodgers.

The evidence shows that between January 1, 2008, and November 1, 2008, Gary Thomas and Brian Thomas caused approximately $4,550,000 to be deposited into their domestic bank accounts and then wired to offshore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands and Belize. Shortly thereafter, Gary Thomas stopped making payments on the loans he and his various entities had obtained from New South Federal Savings Bank, now known as Beal Bank. The total amount of the loans was approximately $56 million. In the summer of 2009, the bank filed civil suits against Gary Thomas on these loans.

In a three-year period between 2010 and 2013, Gary Thomas wired approximately $2,150,000 from the offshore banks into five accounts in Destin banks that Brian Thomas opened as well as accounts opened by others. Thereafter, the father and son conspired to structure withdrawals of cash under $10,000 to avoid the CTR requirement and to hide Gary Thomas’s interest in the funds from his creditor bank. The structured withdrawals were done on roughly 194 occasions and totaled more than $1.6 million.

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