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Criminal Law Keyed to Osler
United States v. Nelson
Citation:66 F. 3d 1036 (9th Cir. 1995)
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) learned of drug dealers in Montana who purchased vehicles over $10,000 in cash but the dealerships structured the purchases in a way to avoid having to report to the IRS (as any cash interaction over $10,000 must be reported to the IRS). The IRS sent two undercover agents into the dealerships, who poised and stated that they were drug dealers looking to avoid having to report anything to the IRS for a vehicle purchase. The agents first interacted with salesman William Rahlf. He told them that it would not be a problem to structure a deal under the table and that he had do so previously. After test-driving a vehicle, Rahlf began filling out their offer for the vehicle.
After the form was filled out (but not signed), Rahlf took it to the assistant general sales manager Randy Replogle and sales manager/ closer Kevin Nelson. Replogle did not want to get involved in a helping the drug dealers not report, so he called the owner of the dealership who said that he should get the customers out of the store. Replogle told Nelson to get the customers to leave. The agents tried to get the car under a different name, and again Replogle and the dealership owner denied permission and asked Nelson to have the customers leave. Instead, Nelson suggested that they buy a vehicle else-where for under 10,000 and do a trade in there; that would avoid the paper trail they wanted to avoid, and that they knew of another dealership who would be happy to do that for them. Two days later a search warrant was executed and business records were seized.
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