Lemont man charged with structuring financial transactions

A Centre County man has been accused of structuring financial transactions with two credit unions over an extended period to avoid federal currency reporting requirements.

John Suhan, 48, of Lemont, was charged Friday on criminal information charges filed in U.S. Middle District Court. A signed plea agreement also was filed in which the government says it will recommend a sentence of probation. The maximum prison sentence for the offense is five years.

The charge states Suhan and his wife in January 2006 received from her relative $372,321 generated from a family business. He placed the money in a safe in the residence and reportedly was told there could be serious problems with the government if he made any bank deposits that exceeded $10,000.

To avoid the requirement that deposits that exceed $10,000 had to be reported, Suhan allegedly made more than 200 deposits of various amounts between January 2006 and September 2011 at the main and branch offices of the Penn State Federal Credit Union and SPE Credit Union. He allegedly used the money to pay household bills and living expenses for his family.

FBI agents on Jan. 10 seized $3,180 from the safe in his home, and the government is seeking to have that money forfeited along with any property involved in the offense.