By Ken Smith
George Scott Shelley of Anchorage was indicted by a federal grand jury in Anchorage on Tuesday, March 23, on a charge of aggravated currency structuring.
The one-count indictment named Shelley, 45, as the sole defendant.
The indictment alleges that in June 1998, Shelley purchased real estate in Portage for $250,000, and that an escrow account was established at First National Bank of Alaska (FNBA) to handle payments from Shelley to the seller.
Shelly is said to have received approximately $150,000 to $250,000 in U.S. Currency from an individual known to the Grand Jury.
Between April and October 2005 the indictment alleges that Shelley made 22 currency deposits totaling $197,320 and structured, and assisted in structuring, transactions with FNBA, Key Bank, Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union, and Alaska Lumber and Pulp Supply Federal Credit Union, by depositing currency, and checks purchased with or representing currency, into the FNBA escrow account in amounts less than $10,000.
In 1970, Congress enacted the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act, also referred to as the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires that domestic financial institutions report to the Internal Revenue Service any cash transactions exceeding $10,000.
During one stretch of bank transactions, Shelley allegedly made 15 deposits just under $10,000–between $9,000 and $9,900–with 12 of those deposits made during a three month stretch from August 1, 2005 to Oct. 4, 2005.
It is also alleged that Shelley “acted knowingly and for the purpose of evading the reporting requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act relative to a conspiracy involving drug trafficking and money laundering,” the U.S. Attorney District of Alaska stated in a press release.
The indictment seeks forfeiture of the Portage property, which is located on Wyatt's Windy Road off the Portage Highway. It was being operated as the Portage Valley Cabins RV Park. The 100-acre plus property was purchased for $250,000, and the transaction was seller financed.
In April of 2007, the Alaska State Troopers Major Offenders Unit assisted the Alaska Bureau of Investigations with executing a search warrant to Shelley for stolen property. Several pieces of heavy equipment were recovered and seized including: a bulldozer, a backhoe, an excavator, two heavy duty equipment trailers, a bobcat, and a travel trailer.
“Some of the property has been returned to the rightful owners and the remaining property is still in custody of the Alaska State Troopers,” said a trooper assigned with the Major Offenders Unit. “We are not the investigating agency, we were just offering manpower down there (Portage). A lot of the stolen property came out of the valley (Wasilla), and it was learned that some of the items that were recovered from the property had been reported as stolen from the Matsu Valley, so we conducted a search warrant to seize the property.”
No charges have been filed yet for the stolen items, but the case is still ongoing, the trooper said.
The Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation unit was the lead investigating agency involved in the current indictment with assistants from the Alaska State Troopers Major Offenders Unit.
No trial date has been set yet for Shelley. A summons was issued to him to appear on April 14 before a magistrate judge.