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San Ysidro Bank Manager Faces More Charges

April 09, 1985|BILL RITTER | San Diego County Business Editor

The manager of the Bank of Coronado's branch in San Ysidro was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury on 13 counts of violating cash transaction disclosure laws.

Guadalupe M. (Cha Cha) Alcantar, who was arrested on two counts March 29 as part of the continuing federal investigation into possible laundering of narcotics money at the bank, is to be arraigned on the indictment Thursday. At the time she was indicted, Alcantar was free on a $50,000 bond after paying a $1,000 cash deposit.

The indictment alleges that Alcantar knowingly and willfully failed to file cash transaction reports and that those reports she did file were false. Federal law requires banks to file Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) with the U.S. Department of the Treasury for withdrawals and deposits in excess of $10,000.

Alcantar's arrest and indictment are not the end of the federal investigation into the bank's San Ysidro branch, which began in mid-1983 and involved agents from the U.S. Customs Service, the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The indictment adds little new information to the contents of an affidavit supporting the complaint filed late last month by Customs special agent Steven J. Trent.

In the affidavit, Trent details how federal undercover agents deposited about $345,000 and withdrew $208,000 from accounts at the branch between May and July of 1984. Alcantar allegedly suggested to the agents that the money could be put in an account belonging to "someone who doesn't have to pay taxes." The investigation's scope remains secret. A one-inch-thick affidavit detailing the case and the possible involvement of proceeds from the sale of illegal narcotics remains sealed.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Stephen W. Peterson, who is a member of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, would not comment on the case.

What remains uncertain is Alcantar's alleged motive because there was no quid pro quo offered in Trent's affidavit.

"It's going to get bigger; there will be more coming out," said one law enforcement source.

Federal prosecutors maintain that the Bank of Coronado's involvement may be limited to Alcantar. She is on leave of absence, pending resolution of her case.

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