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A California attorney has pleaded guilty to federal charges of structuring cash transactions at banks in certain amounts so as to avoid reporting requirements and the payment of federal income taxes. Anthony Luna, 71, a solo practitioner in Montebello, Calif., pleaded guilty on March 22 to moving more than $300,000 in cash through seven bank accounts in less than two years. In order to avoid federal reporting requirements, he, his daughter and his brother deposited the money in transactions of less than $10,000 and stashed cash in safe deposit boxes. When he and his daughter attempted to make multiple $7,000 cash deposits into accounts in a U.S. Bank location in South Pasadena, Calif., he canceled the transactions after the bank teller asked them to fill out a form for reporting purposes. Luna replied to the teller: “Oh, I don’t want to deal with that — Uncle Sam always tries to take my money.” Luna also pleaded guilty to understating his federal income tax liability in 2008 by $66,529. He agreed to forfeit nearly $250,000 seized by authorities last year, including $54,708 in cash that was found at his home. Luna is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 8. He faces a statutory maximum of eight years in federal prison. Luna’s lawyer, Stewart Powell, a partner at Yacoubian & Powell in Los Angeles, noted that all the money in the case was legitimately and lawfully earned. “That was never really an issue,” Powell said. “But he’s taking responsibility for depositing the money the way he did and he’s accepted responsibility at an early stage.” Luna’s daughter, Dianne Sanchez, 42, who lives in Alhambra, Calif., pleaded guilty on March 22 to a conspiracy charge to structure cash transactions. Sanchez, who is scheduled to be sentenced on July 1, faces up to five years in prison. Luna’s brother, Fred Luna, 70, of Camarillo, Calif., pleaded guilty last month to one count of structuring financial transactions. He faces up to five years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 2. Luna was admitted to practice in California in 1974.

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