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September 19, 2014

Hindman gets 6 months in federal prison for structuring cash transactions

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Posted: Monday, August 11, 2014 9:44 pm | Updated: 1:51 pm, Tue Aug 12, 2014.

Talladega business owner Edward M. “Ricky” Hindman, 61, was sentenced to six months in federal prison after pleading guilty to structuring cash transactions, which is a crime.

According to the order signed Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler, Hindman will serve six months at “an appropriate facility that is closest to Talladega,” followed by another six months of home detention. He is also not allowed to “incur any new debts or open any new lines of credit” without the permission of his probation officer until all obligations in the sentencing order are fulfilled. He will not, however, have to undergo regular drug tests.

Altogether, Hindman was sentenced to 36 months supervised probation after his release. He was also ordered to forfeit $119,400, plus a $20,000 fine, plus $100 per count, in this case just one.

According to the stipulation of settlement document released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama along with the sentencing order, Hindman had previously forfeited $1,148,981.96 to the federal government, and in pleading guilty he agreed to waive any rights he might have had to contest that forfeiture.

Federal charges were filed against Hindman in the U.S. District Court in Birmingham in March, and the plea to the information was entered the same day. “Hindman acknowledges in the plea agreement that he intentionally structured, and directed others to structure, cash withdrawals at First National Bank Talladega in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid triggering the bank’s requirements to file a Currency Transaction Report with the U.S. Treasury Department on all transactions greater than $10,000,” according to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office at the time. “Between Feb. 23, 2011, and March 5, 2011, Hindman wrote, or directed others to write, 16 checks payable to ‘cash,’ which were cashed at the Talladega bank, according to his plea agreement. All the checks were just below the reporting requirement amount and totaled $119,400. The cash withdrawals were used to fund the operation of Hindman’s salvage yard, according to the plea.”

U.S. Attorney spokeswoman Peggy Sanford explained that the information issued in March was separate from a two count indictment handed down in February alleging structuring between Jan. 28, 2009, and April 8, 2011, and Aug. 5 and March 5, 2012. Total forfeiture requested in these two cases totaled almost $8.5 million.

Based on the plea agreement, Sanford said the previous indictment would be dismissed once Hindman is sentenced on the information in June. The maximum sentence for structuring is 20 years in prison and fines up to $500,000, in addition to any restitution and forfeiture.

Contact Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com.

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