COVINGTON – A Hazard woman is facing federal charges after a grand jury returned an indictment accusing her of illegally structuring bank deposits worth millions of dollars over a two-year period.
The indictment was returned on Feb. 14 against 52-year-old Lois Elaine Smith, who is alleged to have structured several deposits at Peoples Bank & Trust Company in Hazard, totaling $4,044,180 from Feb. 14, 2008 to June 5, 2010, in order to avoid federal reporting requirements.
Banks and other federal institutions are required to report all money exchanges over $10,000. It is illegal to intentionally structure financial exchanges such as deposits or withdrawals with any federal institution that would avoid reporting requirements.
The investigation resulting in the indictment was handled by the Internal Revenue Service. If convicted, Smith faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. No court date in her case has been set.