February 7, 2013

MANILA – A US district court on Monday sentenced the wife of Sen. Lito Lapid to three years in probation for smuggling cash.

Marissa Tadeo Lapid has been sentenced to three years of probation, including five months home confinement, a $40,000 fine, and forfeiture of $159,700 after pleading guilty to cash smuggling and conspiracy to structure money transactions.

Natalie Collins, spokesperson for lawyer Daniel Bogden of the US District Court of Nevada in Las Vegas, said Mrs. Lapid was charged for “knowingly and willfully conspiring and agreeing with other persons, both known and unknown, to commit the crime of structuring transactions with intent to evade reporting requirement.”

Mrs. Lapid was arrested on Nov. 27, 2010 at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. She reportedly tried to smuggle in US $40,000 in cash and P10,000 at the airport.

Mrs. Lapid was charged before US District Court Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen of Las Vegas in Nevada with a count each of cash bulk smuggling and conspiracy to structure transactions to evade reporting requirements.

The maximum penalty for conspiracy is a five-year prison sentence and a fine of $250,000 while the maximum penalty for bulk smuggling is five years imprisonment.

In addition to jail time, Mrs. Lapid is subject to a three-year off supervised release plus $100 special assessment per count at the time of sentencing, Collins said.

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