Bakersfield man pleads guilty to splitting up $4.2 million in cash deposits to avoid reporting

Posted at 2:09 PM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-22 17:09:09-04

A Bakersfield man pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring with his former business partner to structure $4,204,965 obtained from the sale of smokable synthetic drugs.

Ramsey Jeries Farraj, 42 of Bakersfield, and his business partner Majed Bashir, 49, sold the smokable synthetic cannabinoids, known as K-2 or spice.

Farraj acknowledged that he and his co-defendant Akroush sold the drug through their online businesses Blue Whale and World of Incense.

They deposited over $4.2 million in amounts under $10,000 into various bank accounts to avoid filing a currency transaction report.

Farraj agreed to forfeit over $5 million seized from various bank accounts, seven properties, a 1962 Chevrolet Impala, a Rolex watch, and the websites used for the drug sales.

The case is part of a nationwide synthetic drug takedown in connection with Project Synergy Phase III that targeted the synthetic designer drug industry, including wholesalers, money launderers, and other criminal facilitators.

Farraj is scheduled for sentencing on August 14, 2017. Farraj faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to twice the gross gain obtained by him.