Lemont man pleads guilty to structuring transactions

A Lemont man has admitted he structured financial transactions with two credit unions over an extended period to avoid federal currency reporting requirements.

John Suhan, 48, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. Middle District Court and was released on personal recognizance pending sentencing, the date of which has not been set.

The government has agreed to recommend a sentence of probation for Suhan, who has a master’s degree in business administration.

The charge stems from Suhan and his wife receiving in January 2006 cash from a family business totaling $372,321, which he kept in a safe in his house.

A relative of his wife told him he could be in trouble if he made transactions of $10,000 or more, so Assistant U.S. Attorney George J. Rocktashel said he made more than 200 separate ones in varying amounts.

Deposits totaling $352,740 were made between January 2006 and this past January in different offices of Penn State and SPE credit unions, he said. The money was used to pay household bills and living expenses, the prosecutor said.

The law requires financial institutions to report transactions that exceed $10,000.

The FBI on Jan. 10 seized $3,180 left in the safe, and Suhan has agreed to forfeit it, Rocktashel said. The couple has cooperated with investigators, he said.

Under the plea agreement, Suhan gives up the right to appeal his guilty plea or sentence.