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Secaucus car dealer admits laundering money in IRS sting

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Secaucus man today admitted using his auto dealership to launder what he thought was drug money from an IRS agent posing as a cocaine dealer.

Gilberto A. Teixeira Sr., 48, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark  to a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

He faces up to 20 years in prison at sentencing, scheduled for Sept. 10.

His son, Gilberto A. Teixeira Jr., 23, of East Newark, is also looking at a lengthy prison term when Wigenton sentences him on Sept. 5. He pleaded guilty to similar charges on May 25.

F ederal agents arrested both men at the elder Teixiera’s GT Motor Sport shop in Newark last November.

An undercover agent met with him in late April 2011, “indicating that he was a cocaine trafficker looking to purchase a car with narcotics proceeds,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.

The agent negotiated the purchase of a BMW M5 for $50,000 cash and “explained that he was concerned about paperwork being filed in connection with the purchase,” Fishman said.

Teixeira told the agent that the contract would reflect a $9,000 down payment because a down payment of $10,000 would be “trouble,” according to a complaint on file in federal court in Newark (Trades and businesses that receive more than $10,000 in coins or currency in one or more related transactions are required to report it to the IRS).

The complaint says the elder Teixeira “assured the agent that he would not file any paperwork and explained that the contract would falsely reflect that the automobile was financed though the agent planned to pay cash in full.”

It says he also told the agent that he’d be able to claim the automobile if it were part of a drug seizure.

The agent returned that afternoon with the bait money and sealed the deal with Teixeira’s son, who, according to the complaint, falsified the automobile contract, indicating the car was financed.

Teixiera also agreed to put the car in what the agent said was his girlfriend’s name, with a puchase price of only $37,000 to avoid the tax ramifications. The “girlfriend” — actually, another IRS agent — gave him a driver’s license and insurance card to finish the deal.

The complaint says he counted the money out in front of them.

It didn’t end there, however.

The agent returned in early October and negotiated the sale of another vehicle for $57,000 that he said was drug money, according to the IRS complaint.

IRS records show that Teixeira, Sr., Teixeira, Jr., GT II Auto Sales Corp. (Teixeira, Sr.’s former auto dealership), and GT Motor Sport LLC have never filed an 8300 form for cash transactions over $10,000.

Fishman credited the IRS and the DEA for making the case, being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frances C. Bajada of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Narcotics/Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit in Newark.

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