LOS ANGELES– A Los Angeles doctor has been convicted of federal “structuring” charges for making cash deposits totaling nearly a half million dollars that were designed to circumvent federal reporting requirements.
Washington Bryan II, 48, of Westwood, was found guilty yesterday afternoon by a jury in United States District Court.
At the conclusion of a three-day trial, the jury found Bryan guilty of 29 counts of structuring, finding that he made a series of illegal cash deposits totaling approximately $478,000 between October 2011 and January 2013.
Bryan made deposits of less than $10,000 into four separate accounts for the purpose of preventing banks from reporting the deposits to the federal government, which is required for every cash transaction of more than $10,000. For each of the 29 counts, Bryan made cash deposits into multiple bank accounts on the same day – sometimes within minutes of each other – that added up to more than $10,000.
The jury learned that Bryan received a letter in 2007 from Wachovia Bank informing him of the reporting requirement and alerting him that his pattern of currency deposits at the time appeared to be violating federal law.
Federal prosecutors presented evidence that Bryan structured the cash deposits for the purpose of concealing income he received from thousands of prescriptions that he issued for narcotic painkillers and HIV medications out of his Brentwood office.
The evidence at trial showed that Bryan was disciplined by the Medical Board of California for excessively prescribing narcotic medications, including OxyContin, and place on three years of probation. The cash structuring began after Bryan was placed on probation and while he continued to routinely prescribe high dosages of painkillers to patients – most of whom paid $500 in cash each time they visited Bryan's Brentwood office and obtained prescriptions, sometimes without ever seeing the doctor.
“The federal structuring statute is part of a comprehensive anti-money laundering program enacted to expose the large profits that can be generated by criminal activity,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “As this conviction demonstrates, criminals cannot escape punishment by arranging financial transactions to avoid bank reporting requirements.”
“Going to two or three banks in the same day, usually just minutes apart, to conduct a transaction that could have been completed at one bank has no benign explanation,” stated IRS Criminal Investigation's Acting Special Agent in Charge, Anthony J. Orlando. “IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to unraveling complex financial transactions where individuals attempt to conceal the true source of their money.”
As a result of yesterday's guilty verdicts, Bryan faces a statutory maximum sentence of 145 years in federal prison when he is sentenced by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner on February 27.
The investigation into Bryan was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, the Department of Defense – Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the California Department of Justice and the Los Angeles Police Department.
This is case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Damaris M. Diaz and William Rollins of the General Crimes Section and Assistant United States Attorney Mark Aveis of the Major Frauds Section.
USAO – California, Central Updated November 18, 2016
Central District of California DOJ / 16-289 / November 18, 2016