Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 | 5:22 p.m.
The wife of a senator in the Philippines pleaded guilty in a cash-smuggling scheme and was fined $40,000 and ordered to forfeit another $199,700, U.S. officials announced Monday.
Marissa Tadeo Lapid, 55, also was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas to five months of home confinement and 36 months probation, officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.
Lapid is the wife of Philippines Sen. Manuel “Lito” Lapid.
Homeland Security agents arrested Marissa Lapid on Jan. 15, 2012, at McCarran International Airport after she arrived from the Philippines.
“Bulk cash smuggling is a serious crime motivated by greed,” said Michael Harris, assistant special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Las Vegas. “HSI will continue to target those who seek to exploit vulnerabilities in our financial systems in order to earn, move and store their illegitimate gains.”
The release said Marissa Lapid originally came under suspicion in November 2010 when she failed to declare $40,000 after a flight from the Philippines to McCarran. Customs found the money inside two socks and a cloth bag concealed in the lining of a suitcase.
A subsequent investigation determined Lapid had conspired with others to make 23 cash deposits – all under $10,000 – from January 2009 through June 2010 at multiple banks in the Las Vegas area, authorities said. Banks are required to report deposits of more than $10,000 to the U.S. government.
In all, Lapid deposited $159,700, officials said.