'Burb Bank Caught in Conspiracy

Money laundering ring operated out of Palos Hills

By Matt Bartosik
|  Wednesday, Oct 28, 2009  |  Updated 8:12 AM CDT
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'Burb Bank Caught in Conspiracy

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Palos Hills, center of an international money laundering ring.

To off-shore or not to off-shore? Not to off-shore.

Look no further than Palos Hills, Illinois.

The Family Bank and Trust  at 10360 S Roberts Rd  will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy and will forfeit $800,000 to the federal government, according to federal charges made public Monday.

It turns out the bank was part of a money-laundering scheme connected to an international pseudoephedrine trafficking operation. Thousands of dollars a day would be deposited or withdrawn from the bank without being properly filed, feds say.

It is the first time a bank has ever been prosecuted in the nation for failing to file such a report, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago told ChicagoBusiness.com.

Keeping your money under the mattress is sounding like a better option already.

Normally, a bank requires its customers to fill out special reports for transactions over $10,000. These forms help the government keep an eye on any potential criminal activity.

However, Family Bank and president Marvin Siensa -- who died in 2008 -- allegedly took large cash deposits and withdrawals to the tune of $800,000, all with no federal reports.

According to court records, the cash deposits would be broken up into various accounts in order to disguise the illegal earnings.

A news release said that no customer deposits were affected, and the new ownership and management of the bank are not connected to the charges.

Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger, says you can take it to the bank.

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