Philippine senator’s wife fined in US
The wife of a Philippines senator has been fined $40,000 (1.2m baht) and ordered to forfeit another $199,700 (6m baht) in the United States after pleading guilty to cash smuggling.
- Published: 12/02/2013 at 02:40 PM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
Marissa Tadeo Lapid, wife of Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid, was also sentenced to five months of home confinement and 36 months probation.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have confirmed that the 55-year-old was sentenced on Feb 4.
Homeland Security agents arrested Mrs Marissa Lapid on Jan 15 last year, at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas after she arrived from the Philippines.
“Bulk cash smuggling is a serious crime motivated by greed,” Michael Harris, assistant special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Las Vegas told the Las Vegas Sun.
“HSI will continue to target those who seek to exploit vulnerabilities in our financial systems in order to earn, move and store their illegitimate gains.”
Mrs Lapid first raised the suspicion of US authorities in November 2010 when she failed to declare $40,000 after a flight from the Philippines to Las Vegas. Customs found the money inside two socks and a cloth bag concealed in the lining of a suitcase.
A subsequent investigation determined Lapid had conspired with others to make 23 cash deposits between January 2009 and June 2010 at multiple banks in the Las Vegas area, authorities said.
All the deposits were below the $10,000 (300,000 baht) threshold for transactions that requires banks to report the US government.
Mrs Lapid deposited a total of $159,700, according to officials.
A judge denied Mrs Lapid’s request to serve her probation in the Philippines and ordered her to remain in the US.