Hazard woman set for sentencing in federal structuring case

Herald Staff

November 5, 2013

LONDON – A Hazard woman is set for sentencing later this month after pleading guilty to a federal charge of currency structuring.

Lois Elaine Smith, 53, was indicted on Feb. 14 on allegations that she intentionally structured bank deposits of less than $10,000 to prevent triggering the bank’s requirement to report the transactions to the federal government. Banks and other domestic financial institutions are required to report all monetary transactions over $10,000; the intentional structuring of transactions to avoid the reporting requirement is a violation of federal law.

The deposits totaled more than $4 million from February 2008 to June 2010 at the Peoples Bank & Trust in Perry County, according to information released earlier this year from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to an order filed on Sept. 11, $250,000 seized from Smith’s account will be forfeited, while $114,789 will be returned in accordance with the plea agreement entered on July 31.

Smith is scheduled for sentencing in federal court in Laurel County on Nov. 21 at 1:30 p.m. She faces a maximum of five years in prison, though her sentence will be handed down after consideration of federal law and sentencing guidelines.