Fernandez wife pleads guilty to illegally structuring transactions

Amy Fernandez

A Borger woman has pleaded guilty in a federal court to illegally structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements, according to court documents.

Amy Fernandez, 43, of Borger, pleaded guilty Monday afternoon before a U.S. District Judge on the count of structuring transactions. Fernandez was arrested earlier this month by Special Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration. She remains out on bond.

According to documents filed in this case, Fernandez admitted she purchased single cashier's checks from four separate banks in the Amarillo area: Happy State Bank, Wells Fargo, Amarillo National Bank and Borger Federal Credit Union. Those checks were intended to pay off the debt of Frank's Flooring, her husband's business, to the Texas Comptroller's Office, court documents showed. The checks were purchased from Feb. 22, 2010 to Feb. 26, 2010.

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The checks were all in amounts of $3,000 or $2,950. By having the checks made in those amounts, Fernandez was attempting to avoid federal financial reporting requirements. During the five day period, the checks totaled $59,550.

Bank tellers reportedly said that Fernandez removed cash that was used to purchase the checks from large, gallon-sized plastic bags that she carried in her purse. Fernandez also reportedly said she was making sure she was staying under the "$3,000 threshold."

Just last week, Fernandez's husband, Francisco "Frank" Fernandez, 43, was indicted for his role in a methamphetamine and cocaine distribution conspiracy. Other family members were also indicted.

Fernandez is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 31, 2012. She faces a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. She will also be requires to forfeit any property or proceeds involved in the offense, U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaa said.