Aug 5, 2013 7:44 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - The owners of Mr. Nice Guys Smoke Shop and Nice Guys Auto have plead guilty to federal charges of structuring financial transactions. Kimberly Davis and Leroy Mitchan were arrested earlier this year after agents raided their auto lot on Everhart.
According to prosecutors, police uncovered the scheme during the investigation into the couple's smoke shop. Corpus Christi police seized synthetic marijuana and smoking accessories at Mr. Nice Guys as part of a larger operation targeting synthetic marijuana sales at stores across the city.
Investigators found the couple had recently purchased three new pieces of property in Corpus Christi - worth $1.2 million - and were making payments in cash. According to prosecutors, Kimberly Davis admitted to making three large deposits, from $8,000 to $9,000, within a few hours of each other at a local bank branch on one morning.
Prosecutors say the husband and wife structured bank deposits to fall below $10,000 in order to keep the bank from having to report the large deposits to the federal government. The couple made deposits in excess of $100,000.
Leroy Mitchan admitted in court that he was working with a local real estate agent on how to pay for the property without raising suspicion. Prosecutors say Mitchan gave the real estate agent, and others, specific instructions on how to handle the cash.
Back in May, authorities seized all the vehicles and files at Nice Guys Auto on Everhart Road. Prosecutors say the couple agreed to surrender the three properties involved in the investigation, $396,000 in cash, and 42 vehicles.
When sentenced later this year, Mitchan faces up to 10 years in prison while Davis faces up to 5 years in prison. Both are out on bond until their sentencing dates.
Portland real estate agent Justin Colmenero plead not guilty to all charges back in June. He's expected back in court for another hearing later this month.