IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA HARRISONBURG DIVISION FEBRUARY 2011 SESSION

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. BACH TUYET TRAN a/k/a "Julie Tran" a/k/a "J. Bach" alk/a "Bach T. Tran" alk/a "J. Tran", and "BACH L.L.C.

i Criminal
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~SEALED
18U.S.C. § 371 j Title 18 U.S.C. § 2342 : Title 18 U.S.C. § 1956 i Title 18 U.S.C. § 1957
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INDICTMENT The Grand Jury charges that: COUNT 1"" (18 U.S.C. §371) (Conspiracy - Contraband Cigarettes) 1. -. From in or about January 2009, and continuing up to and including the date of this indictment, in the WesternDistrict of Virginia and elsewhere, the defendants, BACH
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TUYET TRAN, and BACH L.L.C., knowingly and intentionally conspired with other persons, known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to commit the following offense against the United States, to wit: a. To knowingly ship, transport, receive, possess, sell distribute and purchase contraband cigarettes, asthatterm is defined in Title 18, United States Code, ."

Section 2341, to wit: a quantity of more than 10,000 cigarettes which bore no evidence of the payment of applicable State cigarette taxes, in violation of 18
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U.S.C. § 2342(a). INTRODUCTION 2. Title 18, United States Code, Section 2342(1) defines contraband cigarette trafficking and states, "It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to ship, transport, receive, possess, sell, distribute, or purchase contraband cigarettes. 3.
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Title 18, United States Code, Section 2341(2) defines "contraband cigarettes," as If a quantity in excess of 10,000 cigarettes, which bear no evidence of the payment of applicable State or local cigarette taxes in the State or locality where the cigarettes are found, if the State or local government requires a stamp, impression, or other indication to be placed on packages or other containers of cigarettes to evidence payment of cigarette taxes, and which are in the possession of any person other than" an a person authorized per 18 U.S.C. 2341 (2)(A)-(D).

4.

According to Title 18, United States Code, Section 2341(2) only the following individuals may possess cigarettes which bear no evidence that the requisite state taxes have been paid: a. A person holding a permit as a manufacturer of tobacco products or as an export warehouse proprietor, or a person operating a customs bonded warehouse or an agent of such person; b. A common or contract carrier transporting the cigarettes involved under a proper bill of lading or freight bill; c. A person licensed by the state where the cigarettes are found to account for and pay cigarette taxes imposed by such state and who has complied with the accounting and payment requirements relating to such license or authorization

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with respect to the cigarettes involved; d. An officer, employee, or other agent of the Unites States or a state having possession of such cigarettes in connection with the performance of official duties. 5. Virginia Code § 58.1-1001 states that: A. Except as provided in subsection B, in addition to all other taxes now imposed by law, every person within this Commonwealth who sells, stores or receives cigarettes made oftobacco or any substitute thereof, for the purpose of distribution to any person within this Commonwealth, shall pay to this Commonwealth an excise tax of one and one-quarter mills on each such cigarette sold, stored or received before August 1,2004; an excise tax of one cent on each such cigarette sold, stored or received on and after August 1, 2004, through midnight on June 30, 2005; and an excise tax of 1.5 cents on each such cigarette sold, stored or received on and after July 1,2005. B. In addition to all other taxes now imposed by law, every person within the Commonwealth who sells, stores, or receives roll-your-own tobacco, for the purpose of distribution within the Commonwealth, shall pay to the Commonwealth a cigarette excise tax at the rate of 10% of the manufacturer's sales price of such roll-your-own tobacco. 6. Virginia Code § 58.1-1003 states that: A. Except as otherwise specifically provided pursuant to § 58.1-1003.2, the taxes imposed by this chapter shall be paid by affixing stamps equaling the amount of the tax in the manner set forth. The stamps shall be affixed to each individual package, bag, box or can in such a manner that their removal will require continued application of water or steam. Every stamping agent in the Commonwealth shall affix to any unstamped
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cigarettes the requisite denominations and amount of stamp or stamps that represent the proper tax levied by this chapter prior to shipping to other wholesale dealers or retail outlets. 7. A "master case" of cigarettes, also known as a "case" of cigarettes, contains 60 cartons of cigarettes. 8. 9. 10. 11. A "half-case" of cigarettes contains 30 cartons of cigarettes. A standard "carton" of cigarettes contains 10 packs of cig;arettes. A standard "pack" of cigarettes contains 20 cigarettes. "Taxed" or "stamped" cigarettes means a State or local tax stamp has been affixed to the cigarettes (or if such State or locality does not use tax stamps then such State or local taxes have been paid). 12. "Untaxed" or "unstamped" cigarettes means a State or local tax stamp has not been affixed to the cigarettes (or if such State or locality does not use tax stamps then such State or local taxes have not been paid). 13. The Commonwealth of Virginia has experienced an influx of organizations and individuals who buy large volumes of cigarettes to transport to other states. Virginia is a source state for low-cost, low-tax cigarettes. States that impose high taxes are often destination states, such as New York. 14. In 2009 and 2010 the Commonwealth of Virginia levied a cigarette tax of$0.30 per pack or $3.00 per carton of cigarettes. 15. In 2009 and 2010 the State of New York levied a cigarette tax of $2.75 per pack or $27.50 per carton of cigarettes. 16. In 2009 and 2010 New York City levied a cigarette tax of$1.50 per pack or $15.00 per

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carton of cigarettes (plus the state tax levy of$2.75 per pack-equaling a combined tax levy of $4.25 per pack) or $42.50 total per carton of cigarettes. This tax is included in the retail price indicated above. 17. Effective Apr 1,2009, the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) increased the federal cigarette tax from $3.90 to approximately $10.06 per carton). 18. There are many different kinds and quality levels of cigarettes. Marlboro cigarettes, for example are a Tier One, meaning highest quality level, cigarette that in 2010 retailed in Virginia for approximately $36.00 per carton. The wholesale price in 2010 in Virginia for this same carton of cigarettes would be approximately $32.08. 19. In 2009 the retail price for a carton of Marlboro cigarettes in New York was approximately $71.70. In 2010 the retail price for a carton of Marlboro cigarettes in New York was approximately $92.00. 20. In 2009 the retail price for a carton of Marlboro cigarettes in New York City was approximately $88.00. In 2010 the retail price for a carton of Marlboro cigarettes in New York City was approximately $110.00. 21. The difference in price of a carton of cigarettes in Virginia as compared to New York, and other high cigarette tax states is such that individuals engaged in the illegal trafficking of cigarettes can make a substantial amount of money by buying cigarettes in Virginia, paying the Virginia cigarette tax, and selling them in other states that levy a greater tax. Individuals engaged in the trafficking of contraband cigarettes can make even more money by buying untaxed cigarettes and selling them in states that levy a greater cigarette tax. The procurement of cigarettes from low tax states or untaxed
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cigarettes for sale in high tax states without paying the cigarette tax in the high tax state is the essence of contraband cigarette trafficking. 22. The illegal profits generated by the sale of contraband cigarettes in high tax states can also be used to make additional cigarette purchases from low or no tax sources. In this way the contraband cigarette trafficking enterprise can continue. 23. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is the principal federal agency responsible for investigating the transportation and possession of contraband cigarettes. 24. Consequently, to conceal their contraband cigarette trafficking, participants sometimes file false or misleading reports with government agencies, and/or place counterfeit tax stamps on the cigarette packs they sell. MANNER AND MEANS OF THE CONSPIRACY 25. It Was part of the conspiracy that the defendant, BACH TUYET TRAN, (hereafter TRAN) acquired untaxed cigarettes in the Western Judicial District of Virginia and sold these cigarettes to others for distribution in locations outside of Virginia, both known and unknown to the Grand Jury. 26. It was a further part of the conspiracy that from in or about January 2009 through October 14,2010, TRAN purchased from law enforcement officers approximately 150,175 cartons of cigarettes, of which approximately 137,035 cartons of cigarettes were untaxed. 27. It was a further part of the conspiracy that TRAN paid law enforcement officers approximately $3,713,403.00, for all the cigarettes, and $3,378,043 for the untaxed cigarettes. The cigarettes TRAN purchased had a 2010 retail value of approximately $5,406,300 in Virginia, or $13,816,100 in New York, or $16,519,250 in New York City. 28. It was a further part of the conspiracy that TRAN used various businesses, to include

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Bach, LLC and Armel County Store, to facilitate and conceal the illegal conduct. 29. It was a further part of the conspiracy that TRAN used various bank accounts to conceal proceeds from the illegal conduct. 30. It was a further part of the conspiracy that TRAN used proceeds from the illegal conduct to promote her business in contraband cigarettes. 31. It was a further part ef the conspiracy that during the course of the conspiracy, TRAN deprived the Commonwealth of Virginia of more than $411,105 in cigarette taxes. Contraband cigarettes that were transported and sold in other states resulted in the loss of additional tax revenues to those states.

BACKGROUND
32.

ON BACH TRAN

TRAN is the owner and operator of Armel Country Store, also known as Armel Grocery, (hereafter Armel Store or Armel Grocery), a convenience store, located at 3149 Front Royal Pike, Winchester, Virginia.

33. 34. 35. 36.

TRAN is the sole member of BACH, LLC. BACH, LLC uses EIN (Employee Identification Number) 54-1440332. Armel Store uses the same EIN number as Bach, LLC, 54-1440332. Bank checking account number xxx1679 with Bank of Clark County is listed in the name of Armel Grocery.

37.

Bank checking account number xxxxx8901 with First Bank is listed in the name of Armel Grocery.

38.

Bank money market account number xxxxxx9212 with First Bank is listed in the name of Armel Grocery.

39.

Bank savings account number xxx3873 with Bank of Clark County is listed in the name

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ofBACHLLC. 40. Bank checking account number xxx5382 with Bank of Clark County is listed in the names of J. Bach and Mai Egan. 41. Bank checking account number xxx6247 with Bank of Clark County is listed in the names of J. Bach and Mai Egan. 42. Bank checking account number xxxx7693 with SunTrust Bank is listed in the name of Bach T. Tran. 43. Bank savings account number xxxx5689 with SunTrust Bank is listed in the name of Bach T. Tran. 44. Bank Money Market account number xxxl 324 with Bank of Clark County is listed in the name of J. Tran and Suong-Mai Tran Egan. 45. In 2008 law enforcement officers received information that TRAN was possibly engaged in the illegal trafficking of cigarettes. OVERT ACTS In furtherance of the conspiracy and to affect the objects of the conspiracy, the following overt acts, among others, were committed in the Western District of Virginia: 46. On January 15,2009, an undercover law enforcement officer (hereafter VCI) arrived at the Armel Store. When VCI first approached the store he observed an illuminated

"open" sign in the front window, however, the front door was chained shut. A few moments later VCI was let into the store by TRAN. VCI represented to TRAN that he was a new cigarette wholesaler that wanted to expand his business into the Shenandoah Valley and was willing to discuss providing cigarettes to TRAN. TRAN told VCI that she normally purchased her cigarettes from Costco in Winchester, where she uses her
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American Express card (in order to receive the cash back bonus). TRAN then told VCI that she was having difficulties with some of the cigarette manufacturers' representatives

regarding her weekly allotment limits, meaning they were not allowing her to buy more cigarettes. Before leaving, VCI provided TRAN with a fictitious price list for the undercover business. VCI told TRAN that his "warehouse" did not report its sales to the cigarette companies, therefore purchases from him would not affect cigarette allotments. TRAN placed an order that day for approximately 555 cartons of cigarettes. VCI told TRAN that payment would need to be made in cash at the time of delivery. 47. On January 22,2009, VCI traveled to Armel Store to deliver cigarettes previously ordered by TRAN. VCI entered the store and was met by TRAN, who instructed VCI to pull the delivery vehicle in the side of the store and take the cigarettes into the side door. After unloading 570 cartons of stamped cigarettes at a side entrance, TRAN instructed VCI to meet her back in the store. Once back in the store, TRAN paid VCI $14,970 in cash. VCI discussed additional cigarette sales with TRAN, explaining that he could makeregular deliveries; however, it was his intention to assist her with cigarettes for
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"special customers.

VCI explained that "special customers

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were individuals who

purchased 100 cartons or more at one time. VCI further stated that his "cousin" would give TRAN a $0.75 per carton discount for every carton sold to these "special customers.
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TRAN indicated she liked this idea since she could continue to buy her

usual cigarette manufacturers' allotment from Costco and the cigarette company representatives would not see an increase or decrease in her purchases. 48. On January 24, 2009, TRAN contacted VCI and indicated she had a "special customer" that was going to want approximately 900 cartons of cigarettes. VCI agreed to come by
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Armel Store on the following Monday to take the order. 49. On January 26, 2009, VCI traveled to Armel Store to deliver cigarettes previously ordered by TRAN. At approximatelyI2:00pm, VCI arrived at Armel Store and found the

store's "open" sign illuminated, but the front door chained shut. VCI called TRAN on the telephone using a number she had previously provided. TRAN answered and told VCI that the Marlboro representative was in the area and she did not want VCI in the store, but would place an order by telephone. TRAN subsequently ordered 900 cartons of cigarettes from VCI, who advised TRAN that he might not be able to get some of the brands she requested, specifically Newport and Virginia Slims. TRAN said she would get these brands elsewhere ifVCI could not provide them. During a later telephone conversation TRAN ordered an additional 90 cartons of cigarettes. VC asked TRAN whether VCI should deliver the cigarettes to the store or leave them in the van at her store for the special customer to pick up. TRAN stated her special customer was very particular and would not want that. 50. On January 29,2009 at approximately 10:15am, VCI arrived at Armel Store to deliver cigarettes previously ordered by TRAN. VCI found the store locked. VCl knocked on the door and was greeted a short time later by TRAN, who. directed V C I to pull his vehicle to the rear of the store to deliver the cigarettes. VCl unloaded into the basement of the store 870 cartons of stamped cigarettes. As ordered by TRAN, these cigarettes had Virginia tax stamps affixed to them. TRAN stated that because UC I could not fill her entire order, she would have to send her helper to Costco to get the remaining cigarettes. After receiving the cigarettes, TRAN paid VCI $21,090 in cash for the cigarettes. TRAN also reiterated that the cigarettes were for a single "special customer." VCI advised
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TRAN that if her customer wanted untaxed cigarettes, if the cigarettes were not staying in Virginia, VCl could get a better price. TRAN asked what the better price would be.

VCI told TRAN it would likely be a savings of $2-3 per carton or $22 instead of$25.
TRAN wrote this information down and stated she would tell her customer. 51. On February 22,2009, TRAN placed
at).

order with VCI for l320 cartons of'untaxed

cigarettes for a "special customer." When asked by VCl whether the cigarettes were to be taxed or untaxed, TRAN stated that "they" wanted untaxed cigarettes. TRAN asked that delivery be made later in the week. 52. On February 26, 2009, VCl delivered 1050 cartons of untaxed cigarettes, 450 cartons less than what TRAN had previously ordered, to TRAN at Armel Store. When VCl explained to TRAN that he only had part of her order, TRAN was visibly upset and stated she was unsure whether her customer would come down for a partial order. TRAN then took delivery of the cigarettes, which were placed in the basement, and paid VCl $23,160 in cash for the cigarettes. VCI agreed to try and fulfill the remainder of the order the following Saturday. 53. On February 27,2009, VCl delivered to TRAN at Armel Store the remainder of the cigarettes TRAN had ordered on February 22,2009. TRAN expressed her satisfaction

and DCI put the cigarettes in the basement of the store. The delivery included 90 taxed cartons and 180 untaxed cartons of cigarettes. TRAN paid VC 1 $6,270 for all the cigarettes. TRAN expressed her satisfaction again, indicating that she needed to have

everything "he" ordered. 54. On March 2,2009, VCl met with TRAN at Armel Store. During this meeting, TRAN placed an order for 1170 cartons of cigarettes. TRAN indicated to VCI that this was an
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order for her customer. 55. On March 4,2009, VCI met with TRAN at the Armel Store. TRAN and VCI discussed the previously ordered 1170 cartons of cigarettes. VC 1 discussed with TRAN the prospect of having the "customer" come directly to VCI to purchase the cigarettes. TRAN stated that "he" did not want to do that. TRAN and VCI agreed that VCI would deliver the 1170 cartons to TRAN at her store on March 5,2009. 56. On March 5, 2009, VCI delivered 1170 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to IRAN at the Armel Store. TRAN paid VCI $28,920 for the cigarettes. Following the transaction, TRAN told VCI that she wanted to place an order for her "special customer." VCI told TRAN that cigarette prices would be increasing soon due to a tax increase. TRAN said her "special customer" had mentioned the tax increase to her and consequently he wanted to place a large order, specifically, 4440 cartons. VCI told TRAN he would see ifhe could get the cigarettes. 57. On March 9, 2009, TRAN placed an order with VCI for 3000 cartons. Later that day, when VCI explained to TRAN that he could not obtain 180 cartons of Marlboro Menthol cigarettes that TRAN ordered, TRAN indicated it was fine and she would get the menthol cigarettes from Costco. 58. On March 11,2009, VCl delivered to TRAN at Armel Store 3000 cartons of Virginia taxed cigarettes. While unloading the cigarettes; TRAN told VC 1 to put 1050 cartons in her garage. TRAN explained "the guy" was only going to be able to get some of these cigarettes and she did not want him to see all ofthe cigarettes. TRAN paid VC1 $72,000 for the cigarettes and placed an order for additional cigarettes. 59. On March 12,2009, TRAN contacted VCI and requested generic brand cigarettes be

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delivered, explaining that she had a customer that wanted the cheaper generic brands. DCI agreed to order the cigarettes and deliver them when they arrived. 60. On March 16, 2009, TRAN contacted VCI and asked ifDCI had any Marlboro brand cigarettes. DCI told TRAN that he had several cases of untaxed Marlboro Light and Marlboro Red cigarettes. TRAN said she was begging for Marlboro Light cigarettes and did not care that they were untaxed. VCI agreed to deliver 300 cartons of Marlboro cigarettes when he delivered the previously requested generic brand cigarettes. 61. Later on March ·16;2009, DC 1 delivered 780 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. While unloading the cigarettes at the rear of the store, TRAN indicated that the cigarettes were for a new customer. TRAN paid DCl $12,360 for the cigarettes. TRAN also indicated that she had made several trips to Costco for her "special customers.
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TRAN and V C I discussed the possibility of

Virginia increasing its cigarettes tax. TRAN asked if all Virginia cigarettes would go up in price. DCI indicated they would. TRAN then asked about untaxed cigarettes. VCI told Tran that the tax increase would not affect her price on untaxed cigarettes. TRAN smiled and told VCl that she was happy to hear that a possible tax increase on cigarettes in Virginia would not affect her purchase price because the customers that wanted untaxed cigarettes were her "bread and butter. 62.
It

On March 22,2009, TRAN called DCI to order 1620 cartons of cigarettes that would be picked up by one of her customers. DCI agreed to call TRAN back after he had obtained the cigarettes.

63.

On March 25,2009, DCI called TRAN and advised her he had obtained the cigarettes and would stop by later that day to discuss how delivery was to take place.

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64.

Later on March 25, 2009, DCl traveled to Armel Store and spoke with Tran. DCI told Tran he had obtained 4200 cartons of cigarettes. TRAN told DCI that her customer would pick up the cigarettes directly from DC I. TRAN then asked DCI to write down directions to his warehouse. DCI wrote down directions and his telephone number and

toldTran to tell her "guy" to call DCI when he got nearby and DCI would meet him at a
local supply store. 65. On March 26,2009, DCI called TRAN and asked whether her "guy" was coming. TRAN answered that he was in the area, but that he did not bring a vehicle large enough to transport all the cigarettes, but would arrive shortly. At approximately IO:30a.m., while waiting at the local supply store, DCI observed TRAN operating a rental truck with a Hispanic male passenger. DCI then led TRAN to the undercover storage unit. DCI then transferred 3720 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN and the other individual introduced by TRAN as "Mario." TRANpaid DCI $78,120 for the cigarettes. DCI was short 300 cartons of Marlboro Light cigarettes, but agreed to deliver additional cigarettes the following day. TRAN agreed to the delivery the next day and asked that DCI increase the deliver to 600 cartons. 66. On March 27,2009, DCI delivered 600 cartons of untaxed Marlboro Light cigarettes to TRAN at Anne} Store. TRAN paid DCI $12,600 for the cigarettes. 67. On March 31, 2009, DCI delivered to TRAN 9300 cartons of untaxed cigarettes at an undercover storage unit located near Woodstock, Virginia. TRAN arrived with "Mario" in a rental truck that was used to take delivery of the untaxed cigarettes. TRAN paid DCI $145,000 in cash and $64,700 by check (check #1310, dated March 31, 2009, in the name of Bach, LLC, and drawn on the Bank of Clarke County, account number
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xxx3873). TRAN told VCI that she hoped the "guy" would pay her back for the cigarettes soon. TRAN also told VCI that her "guy" was unhappy with the new price increase. VCI explained that the manufacturers' prices had increased. TRAN stated her "guy" was getting cigarettes cheaper in North Carolina and that he was also getting Virginia stamped Newport cigarettes from a store just south of the Virginia/West Virginia border for $38.50. TRAN told VCI that she had gone to that store and spoken to an employee about buying cigarettes. The employee told Tran that "the price out front is the same as paid in the back." 68. On April 7, 2009, VCI delivered to TRAN 2520 cartons of untaxed cigarettes at an undercover storage unit located near Woodstock, Virginia. TRAN had previously ordered 2820 cartons of untaxed cigarettes. During the transaction TRAN stated one of her customers was unhappy that the Newport cigarettes previously purchased were "LIP" (Low Ignition Paper). VCI explained that LIP was required in certain states. TRAN again complained about the price VCI was charging and that her "guy" could get cheaper cigarettes in North Carolina. TRAN also stated that she did not want to lose this customer. VCI showed TRAN some remaining untaxed cigarettes in the storage unit. TRAN told VCI that she wanted 2 master cases ofWildhorse Menthol, I case of

Marlboro Menthol and half a case of Salem Light cigarettes. VC 1 agreed to deliver these additional cigarettes the next day. TRAN then paid VCI $52,920 in cash for the cigarettes. 69. On April 8, 2009, VCI delivered to 2 master cases ofWildhorse Menthol (minus 5

cartons), 1 case of Marlboro Menthol and half a case of Salem Light untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel store. TRAN paid VCI $3,270 for the cigarettes.
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a hand written price list, on which TRAN had written dollar amounts. TRAN stated she spoke with "her guy" and he said that ifDCl was willing to sell untaxed Newport cigarettes for $34.00 a carton, he would purchase between 100 and 200 cartons a week, and ifDCl would sell Marlboro products at $26.00 a carton he would purchase a lot. DCl responded that he was already paying $35.00 a carton for Newport cigarettes, so he did not think that he could lower his price on Newport cigarettes, but would see about lowering the price on Marlboro products (currently priced at $27.00 a carton). TRAN again reiterated she wanted to keep this customer and asked V C 1 to try and get a better pnce. 70. On April 8, 2009, TRAN contacted DCI and requested 480 cartons of Newport 100 untaxed cigarettes. 71. On April 13, 2009,.DCl delivered 300 cartons of untaxed Newport 100 cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store. TRAN then proceeded to pay VC 1 $11,100 for the cigarettes with bundles of cash. Before handing the bundles of cash to DCI, TRAN removed the bank bands, stating she did not want VCI to know where she banked. TRAN and VCI then discussed one of her customers that was still complaining about the price and taste of previously delivered Newport cigarettes. TRAN stated that her customer had not complained about the taste of Newport cigarettes she had purchased at Costco and sold to her customer. TRAN stated she had told her customer that cigarettes would be an additional $3.00 per carton ifher customer wanted Virginia Tax Stamps on them. TRAN then commented that her "other guy" was still getting cigarettes from her but in smaller amounts. 72. On April 20, 2009, TRAN contacted VCI and ordered a quantity of taxed and untaxed

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cigarettes. DCl agreed to obtain the cigarettes and call TRAN to schedule adelivery date and time. 73. On April 21, 2009, TRAN contacted DCI and asked when delivery of the previously ordered cigarettes would occur, stating she needed to go to the bank to obtain the exact amount of money. DCI agreed to make the delivery on April 23, 2009. 74. On April 23, 2009, DCI delivered 1,980 taxed and 1,620 untaxed cartons of cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store. TRAN paid DCI $100,000 in cash for the cigarettes. TRAN again removed the bank bands from the bundles of money, stating she did not want DCl to know where she banked. TRAN then wrote DCI a check (#1014, in the name of Bach, LLC, drawn on the Bank of Clarke County account number xxx3873) for the remainder that was due, $6,140. TRAN told DCl that if the price remained at the current level, her customer would be getting a regular supply. TRAN also commented that she wished her customer would get more than small quantities at a time because it was her money that was being used to pay DCI for the cigarettes. DCl then offered to deliver the cigarettes directly to her customer. TRAN replied that her customer did not want that. DCI mentioned that he had some additional Virginia Slim cigarettes if TRAN wanted them. TRAN replied that she wanted the cigarettes and wanted them untaxed. 75. On April 30, 2009, DCl delivered 1290 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store. TRAN paid DCl $33,488. for the untaxed cigarettes. DCI again offered to deliver the cigarettes directly to her customer. TRAN stated she offered this to her customer, but that he did not want to do it that way because he could not afford to pay for the entire order all at once. 76. On May 12,2009, DCI delivered 300 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel

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Store. TRAN paid VCI $10,800 for the cigarettes. TRAN told VCI about an individual recently arrested for trafficking in cigarettes that had gotten out on a $50,000 bond. As a consequence, her customer did not get his money, is a little wary of trafficking in cigarettes, and has not been buying as many cigarettes as frequently as he had been. 77. On May 25, 2009, TRAN ordered untaxed cigarettes. TRAN stated she was ordering for "him," and had made several calls with this person to discuss the order. TRAN negotiated the prices with VCI for "this guy." One of the issues TRAN raised with VCI was the LIP (low ignition paper) Newport cigarettes. TRAN stated her customer did not want LIP cigarettes. TRAN explained that "her guy" was willing to pay $32.00 per carton of Newport cigarettes, but preferred to buy non-LIP cigarettes. VCI agreed to try and locate non-LIP cigarettes. 78. On May 27, 2009, VCI delivered 990 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store. TRAN paid VCI $30,420 for the cigarettes. TRAN gave VCI a hand written order for 5520 cartons of taxed cigarettes for one of her customers. TRAN explained that she would pay for the entire order, that "it was her money.
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VC 1 agreed to obtain the

cigarettes and store them at his warehouse and only deliver what TRAN wanted, when TRAN wanted it. 79. On May 28,2009, VCI spoke to TRAN via telephone. TRAN stated "her guy" wanted to 'purchase 135 half-cases of Newport cigarettes a week ifVCI would accept $31.00 per carton. VCI agreed to the arrangement and stated he would order a large shipment. 80. On May 30,2009, TRAN spoke with VCI via telephone. TRAN stated "her guy"

wanted to renegotiate the price of the Newport cigarettes and only pay $30.00 per carton. VC 1 told TRAN that he had already placed the order and it was bad business to try and
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change the terms of a deal after an agreement had been reached. DCI told TRAN to tell her customer the price was $31.00 per carton. 8!. On June 1,2009, DCI delivered 960 cartons of untaxed Newport cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid DCI $29,280 for the untaxed cigarettes. 82. On June 4, 2009, DCI delivered 60 cartons of untaxed Newport cigarettes and 930 cartons of taxed Marlboro cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid DCI $26,040 for all the cigarettes. 83. On June 8, 2009, DCI delivered 540 cartons of untaxed Newport brand cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid DC I $16,470 for the cigarettes. DCI told TRAN that her large order of Marlboro cigarettes would be arriving and TRAN would need to pay for the order, approximately $160,000. 84. On June 10,2009, DCI delivered 900 cartons oftaxed Marlboro brand cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid DCI $22,800 for the cigarettes. DCI asked TRAN if she was ready to pay for her large order (approximately $160,000 worth). TRAN indicated she was not. 85. On June 18,2009, DCI delivered 780 cartons of untaxed Newport lOOtsand 150 cartons of taxed Marlboro Medium cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid DCI $26,190 for the cigarettes. TRAN told DCI she

needed Camel light cigarettes. DCI responded that he had some, but that they did not have tax stamps on them. TRAN responded that she did not care, and would take them. 86. On June 23, 2009, DCI delivered 900 cartons of taxed Marlboro brand cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid DCI $21,900 for
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the cigarettes. TRAN told DCI she had another order for him and gave him a piece of paper with the order written on it. The order was for 4200 cartons oftaxed cigarettes and 8400 cartons of untaxed cigarettes. TRAN stated this order was in addition to her previous large order. TRAN explained that she needed to have a lot of cigarettes on hand to satisfy the needs of her customers. 87. On June 29,2009, DCI delivered 420 cartons of untaxed Newport and 480 cartons of taxed Marlboro Medium cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid DCI $25,290 for the cigarettes. 88. On June 30,2009, UCI delivered 1200 cartons of taxed Marlboro Light cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid UC I $31,200 for the cigarettes. DCI told TRAN that he was having troubles at the bank when depositing the large sums of money into his account, and the bank wanted him to fill out paperwork. TRAN told DCI, "Oh no, you don't want to do that." TRAN explained to UCI that he needed to keep his deposits less than $10,000 in order to avoid filling out the bank
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paperwork.

TRAN also told UCI that he should not make deposits less than $10,000 on

consecutive days, but rather break it up over several days. 89. On July 2,2009, UCI, along with another undercover law enforcement officer (hereafter UC2) delivered 2010 cartons of taxed Marlboro and 1140 cartons of untaxed Newport cigarettes to TRANat Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid DCl $60,000 in cash and $25,845 via check (#1020, in the name of Bach, LLC drawn on the Bank of Clarke County account number xxx3873) for a total of$85,845 for all the cigarettes. TRAN told UCI that she was unhappy that he had brought a second person with him. UCI told TRAN that UC2 was "okay," and that UC2 made deliveries for UCI.
USA 0#201 OR338

20

TRAN then handed VCI a revised written order for approximately 9480 cartons of untaxed cigarettes and 3000 cartons of taxed cigarettes. TRAN asked VCl to order these cigarettes since she had now paid for her previous order. 90. On July 17, 2009, VCI and VC2 delivered 1260 cartons of untaxed and 60 cartons of taxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid VCI $31,230 for all the cigarettes. TRAN also gave VCI two new written cigarette orders that totaled 40 master cases of untaxed cigarettes. 91. On July 22,2009, VCI and VC2 delivered 4500 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid VCI $103,290 for all the cigarettes. TRAN told VCI that she needed to keep her prices low so she would not lose business. TRAN told VCI that she would need a larger order the following Tuesday (July 28,2009) because everything VCI had delivered that day, July 22, would be gone and she would need more cigarettes. 92. On July 28,2009, VCI and VC2 delivered 6000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid VCI $138,000 for all the cigarettes. TRAN told VCI that she had previously worked at a bank in Washington, D.C., holding many different positions, starting with teller and then progressing through different departments in the bank dealing with processing private and business loans as well as handling the bank's investments. TRAN also told VC 1 that one of "her

customers" was nervous about coming down and purchasing cigarettes from her because "he" had a "runner" arrested by the police with a load of cigarettes. TRAN told VCI that

her "other customer" would be coming to pick up the cigarettes being delivered by VCI. TRAN also said that she
USAO#2010R338

was selling untaxed
21

cigarettes in order to provide a better price

------_

.. _----------------------------_

..

_

-

to her customers. TRAN gave UCI a written cigarette order, which she asked be delivered the following week. 93. On August 5,2009, UCI and UC2 delivered 6240 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid UCI $143,520 for the cigarettes. TRAN told UCI that she was selling the untaxed cigarettes because she was trying to keep her "customer." TRAN explained that prior to meeting UC1 she only sold her "customer" taxed cigarettes. TRAN stated that after her "customer" complained, stating he could get cigarettes cheaper elsewhere with no tax stamps, she asked UCI for untaxed cigarettes to reduce her cost. TRAN stated she did not like it, but wanted to keep the business. UCI replied to TRAN that she did not have to buy the untaxed cigarettes, nor did she have to sell cigarettes to this customer. TRAN told UCI that she was unsure where he was selling the cigarettes, but wanted to keep the business. TRAN also told UCI that other people selling untaxed cigarettes were making it hard to sell cigarettes. 94. On October 27,2009, UCI, along with another undercover law enforcement officer (hereafter UC3) delivered 480 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid UCI $15,840 in cash for the cigarettes. UCI commented to TRAN that he had not heard from TRAN for some time and asked if her business was slow. TRAN replied that business was slow and that the cigarettes delivered were for a new customer, not her old, usual customer, whom she had not heard from in a while. TRAN then asked for stamped Marlboro brand cigarettes. UCI asked TRAN if the cigarettes were for her store or ifthey were going out-of-state. TRAN replied the cigarettes were not staying in her store. 95. On November 17, 2009, UCI and UC3 delivered 3630 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to

USAO#2010R338

22

TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid UC1 $90,750 in cash for all the cigarettes. TRAN told UCI and UC3 that she was purchasing untaxed cigarettes from an Indian/Pakistani man in Richmond, Virginia that had prices better than UCI. TRAN indicated this person was selling cigarettes for less than $26.00 per carton. 96. On November 24, 2009, VCI and UC3 delivered 780 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN hadpreviously cash for all the cigarettes. 97. On December 15, 2009, UCI and UC3 delivered 6900 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid UC1 $137,280 in cash. The total price for the cigarettes was $179,400 leaving TRAN owing $42,120. TRAN had previously told UCI that the cigarettes needed to be delivered by 6:00 p.m. that day because her customers were going to arrive at 6:30 p.m. and she needed to have . the product ready. 98. On January 8,2010, VCI and UC3 delivered 1560 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. The total price for the cigarettes was $40,560. TRAN paid UCI $86,680 in cash, which included payment for the cigarettes and payoff of her previous debt of$42,I20. TRAN asked UCI if he could get her any ordered. TRAN paid VCI $19,500 in

taxed cigarettes, explaining that "he" wanted cigarettes with tax stamps. UC1 replied that his business no longer/sold cigarettes with Virginia tax stamps and only had cigarettes with tax stamps from Tennessee and Kentucky. UCI mentioned that the only Virginia tax stamps he could get were counterfeit and highly illegal if used in place of real Virginia tax stamps. TRAN asked VCI if he could put them on cigarettes for her. VCI stated that the counterfeit tax stamps came from a counterfeiter in New York and were
USAO#20JOR338

23

illegal. VCI agreed to sell the counterfeit Virginia tax stamps for $0.06 per stamp, as opposed to the legitimate Virginia tax stamps that cost $030 per stamp. TRAN asked what the counterfeit Virginia tax stamps looked like, to which VCI replied they were indistinguishable from the legitimate stamps. VCI agreed to get a sample of the counterfeit Virginia tax stamps to show TRAN what they looked like. TRAN told VCI that she wanted the counterfeit Virginia tax stamps on the cigarettes she was buying from VCI. VCI again told TRAN it was illegal to use the counterfeit Virginia tax stamps, but he would gladly get them for TRAN if she wanted, to which TRAN replied she wanted them. 99. On January 11,2010, VC3 delivered 1560 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN. had previously ordered. TRAN paid VC3 $40,560 for all the cigarettes. 100. On January 14, 2010, VC3 delivered 1620 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid VC3 $42,120 for all the cigarettes. 101. On January 22,2010, VCI and VC3 delivered 1620 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRANpaid the cigarettes. 102. On January 28,2010, VCI and VC3 delivered 2400 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid $62,400 for all the cigarettes. 103. On February 2,2010, VCl delivered 1560 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid $40,560 for all the
USA 0#201 OR33._8

$42,120 for all

24

cigarettes. TRAN told VCI that she was recently approached by a Pakistani male, offering to sell her untaxed cigarettes. TRAN indicated that this male previously purchased cigarettes for TRAN at Costco that she resold. VCl asked TRAN if she was interested in purchasing the counterfeit Virginia tax stamps they had previously spoken about. TRAN indicated she was still interested, commenting that it would help her. VCl reiterated to TRAN that the tax stamps were made in a "basement" in New York City, and were illegal. 104. On February 16,2010, VC3 delivered 8160 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid $211~344 for all the cigarettes. The cigarettes cost $212,160, leaving her with a debt of $826. 105. On March 2, 2010, VC3 delivered 4200 cartons of untaxed cigarettes to TRAN at Armel Store that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid $110,026 for the cigarettes and payment of the $826 debt accrued on February 16. 106. On March 30,2010, at the undercover warehouse TRAN purchased and took delivery of 4920 cartons of untaxed cigarettes from VCl that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid VCl $127,820 for the cigarettes, which cost $127,920, leaving TRAN with a $100 debt. 107. On April 13, 2010, at the undercover warehouse TRAN purchased and received 6300 cartons of untaxed cigarettes from VCl and VC3 that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid VCl $163,800 for the cigarettes. During the transaction TRAN asked VCI if he had "stamped" cigarettes. VCI replied that they no longer had the ability to stamp cigarettes with Virginia tax stamps. TRAN asked VCl if he had any other stamps like they had previously discussed. VCI went and retrieved a sheet of blue, counterfeit
USAO#2010R338

25

Virginia tax stamps and showed it to TRAN. VCl told TRAN that the sheet of counterfeit tax stamps were a sample of the stamps he was purchasing. VCl told TRAN

they were highly illegal and were fake, that they were made by a guy in a garage in New York, and not by Virginia. VCI told TRAN the real stamps cost $0.30 each, but he was buying the fake stamps for $0.06 each. VCI showed TRAN how the counterfeit stamps were applied using a common household iron. TRAN asked if she could keep the sheet of counterfeit stamps. VCI replied that she could not and took back the stamps, explaining that this sheet was his only sample. TRAN then asked VCI if he could obtain a sheet of counterfeit stamps for her. VCI told TRAN that he had already ordered some for himself, but would sell her a sheet when they arrived.

,108.

On April 21, 2010, at the undercover warehouse TRAN purchased and took delivery of 4920 cartons of untaxed cigarettes from VCI and VC3 that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid VCI $127,920 for the cigarettes. Following the transaction, TRAN asked VCI for the counterfeit Virginia tax stamps that he was supposed to have ordered for her. VCI then provided TRAN with one sheet of 273 counterfeit Virginia tax stamps that were indexed with number 23027. VCI told TRAN these stamps cost $0.06 each. VCl again told TRAN that the stamps were counterfeit, that TRAN should not tell anyone where she got the stamps from, that TRAN should be careful using the stamps, and that it was illegal to have them. TRAN said she had a quantity of older non FSC Marlboro Light cigarettes that she was going to put the counterfeit stamps on so that she could sell them in her store. TRAN also stated that she was going to make more money selling the counterfeit stamps than she was selling the untaxed cigarettes.

109.

On Apri127, 2010, at the undercover warehouse TRAN purchased and took delivery of

USA 0#201 OR338

26

5400 cartons of untaxed cigarettes from UCI and UC3 that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid UCI $140,400 for the cigarettes. 110. On May 11,2010, at the undercover warehouse TRAN purchased and took delivery of 6000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes from UC1 and UC3 that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid UC1 $156,000 for the cigarettes. During the transaction, TRAN advised UC 1 that she did not have to pay by check because the persons buying the cigarettes had brought her cash. 111. On May 18,2010, at the undercover warehouse TRAN purchased and took delivery of 4800 cartons of untaxed cigarettes from UCI and UC3 that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid UCI $124,800 for the cigarettes. 112. On May 25,2010, at the undercover warehouse TRAN purchased and took delivery of 4800 cartons of untaxed cigarettes from UCI and UC3 that TRAN had previously
,

ordered. TRAN paid UCI $124,800 for the cigarettes. 113. On June 1,2010, at the undercover warehouse TRAN purchased and took delivery of 4800 cartons of untaxed cigarettes from UCI and UC3 that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid UC1 $124,800 for the cigarettes. 114. On June 16,2010, at the undercover warehouse TRAN purchased and took delivery of 4200 cartons of untaxed cigarettes from UCI and UC3 that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid UCI $109,200 for the cigarettes. 115. On June 22, 2010, at the undercover warehouse TRAN purchased and took delivery of 4800 cartons of untaxed cigarettes from UCI and UC3 that TRAN had previously ordered. TRAN paid UCI $124,800 for the cigarettes. 116. On July 12,2010, TRAN spoke with UCI via telephone and ordered 42 master cases

USAO#2010R338

27

(2520 cartons) of untaxed cigarettes. TRAN also asked VCI ifhe had any more counterfeit tax stamps for sale. VCI told TRAN that he had a large amount of New York counterfeit tax stamps. TRAN replied that she wanted the counterfeit Virginia tax stamps, just like the ones VCI had sold her before, explaining that "He" wanted them. TRAN stated she wanted 40 sheets of counterfeit stamps. VCI told TRAN that he would get the counterfeit stamps for her. 117. On July 13,2010, VCI and VC3 delivered to TRAN at Armel Store 2520 cartons of untaxed cigarettes that TRAN had previously ordered. When VCI and VC3 arrived at the store they found the front door chained shut, but TRAN came and opened it. TRAN paid VCI $65,520 for the cigarettes. During the transaction TRAN told VCI that she had recently been approached by another local tobacco retailer, who had offered to sell TRAN untaxed cigarettes. TRAN described his appearance, the vehicle he drove, and indicated he owned a store near Stephenson, Virginia. TRAN told VCI that she would, not buy untaxed cigarettes from this person. VCI asked TRAN if she was selling the untaxed cigarettes out the "front door" of her store. TRAN replied that she was not, that they leave her store quickly and are going "north." They then discussed counterfeit tax stamps. TRAN told VC1 that she was still interested in buying 40 sheets of counterfeit stamps. 118. On July 30, 2010, VCI arrived at the Armel Store to speak with TRAN about upcoming cigarette purchases. During the conversation, TRAN told VCI that she was out of cigarettes and she had sold everything. VCI told TRAN that he would be able to get her about 60 cases. TRAN said that was good, she would take anything. TRAN then commented that she had made a mistake and went on to explain that she had recently
USA 0#201 OR338

28

purchased cigarettes from the "Arab guy." TRAN told UCI that she had purchased 12 cases of Newport cigarettes from him when UC1 could not get them for her. UC1 .

inspected the cigarette and found that TRAN had been referring to 12 half-cases. UCI also found upon closer inspection of the cigarettes that one case had Virginia tax stamps, one case had counterfeit New York tax stamps, and the remaining 10 cases were untaxed. 119. For the months and years listed below, TRAN (Armel Grocery) reported in gross sales the approximate amounts listed below. Month/Year January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 $38,110 $40,269 $44,329 $53,706 $53,119 $69,750 $60,825 $61,967 $47,881 $49,903 $31,399 $18,119 $10,949 $15,690 $19,956 $20,558 Gross Sales Re120rtedby TRAN on Virginia Sales Tax reoort ST-9

$21A07
$23,929

120.

For 2009 TRAN (Armel Grocery) reported approximately $569,377 in gross Virginia sales.

121.

For 2010, from January 2010 to June 2010, TRAN (Armel Grocery) reported approximately $112,489 in gross Virginia sales.

122.

In the months and years listed below TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited, 29

USAO#2010R338

including both cash and checks, the approximate amounts listed below into one of the bank accounts listed above. MonthlYear January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 Apri12010 May 2010 June 2010 Approximate Amount Deposited $198,816 $142,447 $111,370 $75,567 $95,622 $97,475 $94,193 $104,626 $92,309 $97,169 $79,967 $64,106 $63,505 $61,160 $77,871 $72)22 $81,156 $68,232

123. 124.

In 2009 TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited approximately $1,253,667. In 2010, from January through June, TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited approximately $424,146.

125.

In the months and years listed below the amounts listed are the approximate differences between what TRAN (Armel Grocery) reported to Virginia in gross sales and what TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited into the bank accounts listed above. Month/Year January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 $160,706 $102,178 $67,041 $21,861 $42,503 $27,725 30 Difference between amounts denosited and amounts reoorted as_g_rosssales.

USAO#2010R338

July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010

$33,368 $42,659· $44,428 $47,266 $48,568 $45,987 $52,556 $45,470 $57,915 $51,664 $59,749 . $44,303

126.

In 2009 TRAN deposited or caused to he deposited approximately $684,290 more than TRAN (Armel Grocery) reported in gross sales.

127.

In 2010, from January through June, TRAN deposited or caused to he deposited $311,657 more than TRAN (Armel Grocery) reported in gross sales.

128.

In 2009 and from January to June in 2010, TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited approximately $1,481,211 in third-party checks. During the same time frame TRAN withdrew approximately $200,000 in cash.

129.

In 2009 TRAN reported $785,392 in federal gross income (from sources such as interest, wages, gambling, rental income, business income, cigarette rebates, and capital gains), which was less than her total deposits ($1,253,667).

130.

All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.

COUNTS 2 THROUGH 45 (18 U.S.C. § 2342(a)) (Trafficking in Contraband Cigarettes) 1. The allegations alleged in Count 1, paragraphs 2 through 129, are hereby realleged and incorporated by reference as though set forth in full. 2. On or about the dates set forth below, in the Western District of Virginia, the defendant, 31

USAO#20J0R338

BACH TUYET TRAN, did knowingly and unlawfully purchase, receive and possess contraband cigarettes, as that term is defined in Title 18, United States Code, Section 2341, to wit: a quantity of more than 10,000 cigarettes which bore no evidence of the payment of applicable State cigarette taxes in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the amount set forth below. Count 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34
USAO#2010R338

Date February 26,2009 February 27, 2009 March 5, 2009 March 16, 2009 March 27,2009 March 31, 2009 April 7, 2009 April 13, 2009 April 23, 2009 April 30, 2009 May 12, 2009 May 27, 2009 June 1,2009 June 8, 2009 June 18,2009 June 29, 2009 July 2,2009 July 17, 2009 July 22,2009 July 28, 2009 August 5, 2009 October 27, 2009 November 17,2009 November 24,2009 December 15,2009 January 8, 2010 January 11,2009 January 14,2010 January 22,2010 January 28,2010 February 2, 2010 February 16,2010 March 2, 2010

Awroximate Number of Contraband Cigarettes/Cartons 210000 contraband cigarettes (1050 cartons) 36000 contraband cigarettes (180 cartons) 234000 contraband cigarettes (1170 cartons) 156000 contraband cigarettes (780 cartons) 120000 contraband cigarettes (600 cartons) 1860000 contraband cigarettes (9300 cartons) 504000 contraband cigarettes (2520 cartons) 60000 contraband cigarettes (300 cartons) 324000 contraband cigarettes (1,620 cartons) 258000 contraband cigarettes (1290 cartons) 60000 contraband cigarettes (300 cartons) 198000 contraband cigarettes (990 cartons) 192000 contraband cigarettes (960 cartons) 108000 contraband cigarettes (540 cartons) 156000 contraband cigarettes (780 cartons) 84000 contraband cigarettes (420 cartons) 268000 contraband cigarettes (1140 cartons) 252000 contraband cigarettes (1260 cartons) 900000 contraband cigarettes (4500 cartons) 1200000 contraband cigarettes (6000 cartons) 1248000 contraband cigarettes (6240 cartons) 9600 contraband cigarettes (480 cartons) 726000 contraband cigarettes (3630 cartons) 156000 contraband cigarettes (780 cartons) 1380000 contraband cigarettes (6900 cartons) 312000 contraband cigarettes (1560 cartons) 312000 contraband cigarettes (1560 cartons) 324000 contraband cigarettes (1620 cartons) 324000 contraband cigarettes (1620 cartons) 480000 contraband cigarettes (2400 cartons) 312000 contraband cigarettes (1560 cartons) 1632000 contraband cigarettes (8160 cartons) 840000 contraband cigarettes (4200 cartons) 32

35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 3.

March 30, 2010 April 13, 2010 April 21, 2010 April 27, 2010 May 11,2010 May 18,2010 May 25, 2010 June 1,2010 June 16,2010 June 22,2010 July 13,2010

984000 contraband cigarettes (4920 cartons) 1260000 contraband cigarettes (6300 cartons) 984000 contraband cigarettes (4920 cartons) 1080000 contraband cigarettes (5400 cartons) 1200000 contraband cigarettes (6000 cartons) 960000 contraband cigarettes (4800 cartons) 960000 contraband cigarettes (4800 cartons) 960000 contraband cigarettes (4800 cartons) 840000 contraband cigarettes (4200 cartons) 960000 contraband cigarettes (4800 cartons) 504000 contraband cigarettes (2520 cartons)

All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2342(a).

(18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(A)(i)) (Money Laundering - Promotion) 1. . The allegations alleged in Count 1, paragraphs 2 through 129, are hereby realleged and incorporated by reference as though set forth in full. 2. On or about the dates listed below, in the Western District of Virginia, the defendant, BACH TUYET TRAN, did knowingly conduct and attempt to conduct the following financial transactions affecting interstate and foreign commerce, which involved the proceeds of a specified unlawful activity, that is trafficking in contraband cigarettes, with the intent to promote the carrying on of said specified unlawful activity, and that while conducting and attempting to conduct such financial transactions knew that the property involved in the financial transaction represented the proceeds of some form of unlawful . activity. Count 46 47 48
USA 0#201 OR338

COUNTS

46 THROUGH

81

Date February 26, 2009 March 5, 2009 March 16, 2009

Transaction TRAN paid law enforcement $23,160 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $28,920 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $12,360 in cash for contraband cigarettes 33

49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70

March 26, 2009 March 27, 2009 March 31, 2009 April 7,2009 April 13, 2009 April 30, 2009 May 27, 2009 June 1,2009 June 8,2009 July 28, 2009 August 5, 2009 October 27, 2009 November 17, 2009 November 24, 2009 December15,2009 January 11,2010 January 14, 2010 January 22, 2010 January 28,2010 February 2,2010 February 16,2010 March 2,2010

TRAN paid law enforcement $78,120 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $12,600 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $145,000 in cash and $64,700 by check for contraband cigarettes. TRAN paid law enforcement $52,920 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $11,100 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $33,488 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $30,420 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $29,280 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $16,470 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $138,000 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $143,520 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $15,840 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $90,750 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $19,500 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $137,280 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $40,560 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $42,120 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $42,120 in cash for' contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $62,400 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $40,560 in cashfor contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $211,344 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $110,026 in cash for contraband cigarettes

USA 0#201 OR338

34

71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 ~1

March 30,2010 April 13, 2010 April 21, 2010 April 27, 2010 May 11,2010 May 18,2010 May 25,2010 June 1,2010 June 16,2010 June 22, 2010 July 13,2010

TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes

$127,820 in cash for $163,800 in cash for $127,920 in cash for $140,400 in cash for $156,000 in cash for $124,800 in cash for $124,800 in cash for $124,800 in cash for $109,200 in cash for $124,800 in cash for $65,520 in cash for

3.

All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1956(a)(I)(A)(i)

and 2.

COUNTS 82 THROUGH 101 (18 U.S.C.§§ 1956(a)(1)(A)(i), 1956(a)(I) (B)(i), 1956(a)(1)(B)(ii)) (Money Laundering - Promotion, Concealment, Avoid a Reporting Requirement) 1. The allegations alleged in Count 1, paragraphs 2 through 129, are hereby realleged and incorporated by reference as though set forth in full. 2. On or about dates listed below, in the Western District of Virginia, the defendant, BACH TUYET TRAN, did knowingly conduct and attempt to conduct the following financial transactio11s affecting interstate and foreign commerce, which involved the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, that is trafficking in contraband cigarettes, with the intent to promote the carrying on of said specified unlawful activity, and knowing that the transaction was designed in whole and in part to conceal and disguise, the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of the proceeds of said specified unlawful
USAO#2010R338

35

activity and to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under State or Federal law and that while conducting and attempting to conduct such financial transactions, the defendant knew that the property involved in the financial transactions, represented the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity. Count 82 83 Date March 23, 2009 January 10,2009 Transaction TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $6,584.80 in third-party checks into First Bank account xxx8901. TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $17,720.91 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679. TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $17,282.72 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679. TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $12,131.04 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679. TRAN deposited or caused tobe deposited $13,378.83 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679 .. TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $16,766.20 in third-party checks intoBank of Clark County account xxxl 679. TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $13,289.29 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679. TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $17,853.01 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679. TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $16,321.56 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679. TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $16,189.49 in third-party checks into Bank of CI,ark County account xxx1679. TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $15,003.86 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679. TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $13,373.86 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679.

84

February 10, 2009

85

March30, 2009

86

April 6, 2009

87

May 8, 2009

88

June 1,2009

89

July 23, 2009

90

August 10, 2009

91

September 8, 2009

92

October 13,2009

93

November 23, 2009

USA 0#201 OR338

36

3.

TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $7,965.22 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679. 95 December 22, 2009 TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $9,837.72 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679. January 25,2010 96 TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $13,756.40 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679. 97 February 12, 2010 TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $12,258.02 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679. March 15,2010 TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $12,357.05 98 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679. 99 April 19, 2010 TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $11,981.96 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679. 100 May 17,2010 TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $14,445.93 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679. 101 June 7, 2010 TRAN deposited or caused to be deposited $13,454.11 in third-party checks into Bank of Clark County account xxx1679 . . All III VIOlatIOnof TItle 18, Umted States Code, Sections 1956(a)(I)(A)(1), 1956(a)(l) (B) (i), 1956(a)(I)(B)(ii) and 2.

94

December 21, 2009

COUNTS 102 THROUGH 142 (l8U.S.C. § 1957) (Money Laundering - Transaction Greater Than $10,000)
1.

The allegations alleged in Count 1, paragraphs 2 through 129, are hereby realleged and incorporated by reference as though set forth in fulL

2.

On or about the dates set forth below, in the Western District of Virginia and elsewhere, the defendant, BACH TUYET TRAN, did knowingly engage and attempt to engage in

the following monetary transactions by through or to a financial institution, affecting
interstate or foreign commerce, in criminally derived property of a value greater than $10,000, that is the, deposit, withdrawal, transfer, and exchange of U.S. currency, funds,
USAO#20IOR338

37

and monetary instruments, such property having been derived from a specified unlawful activity, that is, trafficking in contraband cigarettes. Count 102 Date November 2,2009 Monet1!rYTransaction TRAN withdrew $82,509.04 in the form of a cashier's check from Bank of Clark County account number xxx1679 held in the name of Armel Grocery/Julie Bach Tran and made payable to Harrison & Johnson PLC. TRAN passed check #1015 in the amount of $900,000 drawn on Bank of Clark County account number xxx3873 held in the name of BACH LLC and made payable to Suntrust Bank - Commercial Loan. TRAN caused to be transferred $300,000 from Bank of Clark County account number xxx1679 held in the name of Armel Grocery/Julie Back to Bank of Clark County account number xxx6247 held in the name of Julie Bach Tran and Suong-Mai Tran Egan. TRAN caused to be transferred $50,000 from Bank of Clark County account number xxx1679 held in the name of Armel Grocery/Julie Bach to Bank of Clark County account number xxx3873 held in the name of BACH LLC. TRAN passed check #1058 in the amount of$300,000 from the Bank of Clark County account number xxxl 679 held in the name of Armel Grocery/Julie Bach Tran and made payable to SunTmst. TRAN paid law enforcement $23,160 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $28,920 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $12,360 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $78,120 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $12,600 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $145,000 in cash and $64,700 by check for contraband cigarettes. TRAN paid law enforcement $52,920 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $11,100 in cash for contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement $33,488 in cash for contraband cigarettes

103

May 11,2009

104

January 7, 2009

105

January 7,2010

106

June 8, 2010

107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115

February 26, 2009 March 5, 2009 March 16, 2009 March 26, 2009 March 27,2009 March 31, 2009 April 7, 2009 April 13, 2009 April 30, 2009

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116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137

May 27,2009 June 1,2009 June 8, 2009 July 28, 2009 August 5, 2009 October 27, 2009 November 17,2009 November 24, 2009 December15,2009 January 11, 2010 January 14,2010 January 22,2010 January 28,2010 February 2,2010 February 16,2010 March 2, 2010 March 30,2010 April 13, 2010 April 21, 2010 April 27, 2010 May 11,2010 May 18,2010

TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes

$30,420 in cash for $29,280 in cash for $16,470 in cash for $138,000 in cash for $143,520 in cash for $15,840 in cash for $90,750 in cash for $19,500 in cash for $137,280 in cash for $40,560 in cash for $42,120 in cash for $42,120 in cash for $62,400 in cash for $40,560 in cash for $211,344 in cash for $110,026 in cash for $127,820 in cash for $163,800 in cash for $127,920 in cash for $140,400 in cash for $156,000 in cash for $124,800 in cash for

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138 139 140 141 142
-"

May 25, 2010 June 1, 2010 June 16, 2010 June 22, 2010 July 13,2010

TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes TRAN paid law enforcement contraband cigarettes

$124,800 in cash for $124,800 in cash for $109,200 in cash for $124,800 in cash for $65,520 in cash for

3.

All in violation of Title 18, United States Codes, Sections 1957 and 2.

NOTICE OF FORFEITURE 1. Upon conviction of one or-more of the felony offenses alleged in this Indictment,

the defendant shall forfeit to the United States: a. Any property, real or personal, which constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to a violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371 and/or 2342, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 981(a)(I)(C) and 28 U.S.C. § 2461. b. Any property, real or personal, involved in a violation of 18 U.S.C. § § and/or 1957, or any property traceable to such property, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 982(a)(I). c. Any conveyances involved in a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2342, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 80303 and 28 U.S.C. § 2461. 2. The property to be forfeited to the United States includes but is not limited to the_

following property:

a.

Money Judgment
Not less than $4,776,828 in United States currency and all interest and proceeds traceable thereto, in that such sum in aggregate was obtained directly or indirectly as a result of said offenses or is traceable to such property.

h.
(1)
USA 0#201 OR338

United States Currencyand/orfmancialaccount(s)
Bank of Clarke County, all funds on deposit or credited to Account No. 5111679, held in the names of Armel Grocery and/or Julie 40

Bach Tran. (2) Bank of Clarke County, all funds on deposit or credited to Account No. 5113873, held in the names of BACH LLC and/or Julie B. Tran. Bank of Clarke County, all funds on deposit or credited to Account No. 5726247, held in the names of Julie Bach Tran and Suong-Mai Tran Egan. First Bank, all funds on deposit or credited to Account No. 2301498901, held in the name of Bach Tuyet Tran d/b/a Armel Grocery. Real Property

(3)

(4)

c.

(I)

100 Executive Drive, Suites A, B, C, D, Sterling, VA Tax Map Nos. 94-12BC-A; 94-12BC-B; 9412BC; 94-12BC-D; more particularly described as follows: BEING the same property conveyed to BACH, L.L.C., a VA limited liability company, from 100 Executive Drive, LLC, a VA Limited Liability Company, by Deed dated March 25,2005, recorded in the Circuit Court of Loudon County, Virginia, as Instrument No. 20050401-0033193.

(2)

3149 Front Royal Pike (alk/a Armel Grocery Store), Winchester, VA 22602, Tax Map No. 87-A-64, more particularly described as follows: BEING the same property conveyed to Bach Tuyet TRAN as femme sole, by Elizabeth Anne HAINES, by Deed dated December 31, 1987, recorded in the Circuit Court of Frederick County, Virginia, in Deed Book 668, Page 770.

(3)

3117 Front Royal Pike (lot adjacent to Armel Grocery Store), Winchester, VA 22602, Tax Map No. 87-A-68 BEING the same property conveyed to Bach T. TRAN from Elizabeth J. NICHOLSON by Corrected Deed dated November 13, 2009, recorded in the Circuit Court of Frederick County, Virginia, as Instrument No. 090012504.

3.

If any of the above-described

forfeitable property, as a result of any act or

omission of the defendant:
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a. b. c. d. e.

cannot be located upon the exercise of due diligence; has been transferred or sold to, or deposited with a third person; has been placed beyond the jurisdiction of the Court; has been substantially diminished in value; or has been commingled with other property which cannot be subdivided without difficulty;

it is the intent of the United States to seek forfeiture of any other property of the defendant up to the value of the above-described forfeitable property, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 853(P), including but not limited to the following assets:
I.

U.S. Currency and/or Financial Accounts (1) Bank of Clarke County, all funds on deposit or credited to Account No. 5325382, held in the names of Julie Bach Tran and Suong-Mai Tran Egan. (2) Bank of Clarke County, all funds on deposit or credited to Account No. 5351324, held in the names of Julie Bach Tran and Suong-Mai Tran Egan. (3) .First Bank, all funds on deposit or credited to Account No. 2301689212, held in the name of Bach Tuyet Tran. (4) SunTrust Bank, all funds on deposit or credited to Account No. 1000077797693, held in the name of Bach Tuyet Tran. (5) SunTrust Bank, all funds on deposit or credited to Account No. 1000072415689, held in the name of Bach Tuyet Tran. (6) SunTrust Bank, all funds on deposit or credited to Account No. 10000109266493, held in the name of Bach Tuyet Tran. (7). Fidelity Investments, all funds on deposit or credited to Account No. Z42359130, held in the name of Bach Tuyet Tran. (8) Fidelity Investments, all funds on deposit or credited to Account No. 2BH603031, held in the name of Bach Tuyet Tran. (9) Fidelity Investments, all funds on deposit or credited to Account No. 340938009, held in the name of Bach Tuyet Tran. (10) Fidelity Investments, all funds on deposit or credited to Account No. 138499528, held in the name of Bach Tuyet Tran.

ii.
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Real Property 42

(1)

3380 Front Royal Pike, Winchester, VA 22602, Tax Map No. 87A-85, more particularly described as follows: BEING the same property conveyed to Bach T. Tran from James William PLACE by Deed dated July 10, 2006, recorded in the Circuit Court of Frederick County, Virginia, as Instrument No. 060013138.

(2)

12438 Lord Fairfax Highway, Boyce, VA 22620, Tax Map No. 21A-63, more particularly described as follows: BEING the same property conveyed to Julie Bach Tran from Dale E. SOURS, Executor of the Ruth D. Sours Estate, by Deed dated October 10,2003, recorded in the Circuit Court of Frederick County, Virginia, in Deed Book 391, Page 422.

A TRUE BILL, this

_£2_

day of

HL

,2011.

~~'

.~. .

OT Y~APHY UN;TEDSTATESATTORNEY

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17&
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