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County Teacher Sentenced for Banking Scheme

From United Press International

An Orange County teacher was sentenced to 3 years in prison Monday for violating federal banking laws, a pattern of activity the judge said was probably part of a scheme to launder drug profits.

James R. Hoyland, a former science teacher in the Huntington Beach Union High School District, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Edward Rafeedie, who convicted him of six felony counts after a non-jury trial last month.

Hoyland, 43, of Dana Point, avoided currency reporting requirements to the IRS by keeping deposits and money exchanges to less than $10,000. A total of $105,000 went unreported from January, 1987, to August, 1987.

“This is extremely suspicious conduct,” Rafeedie said. “The only reasonable conclusion to be drawn from this is that the defendant was laundering money. . . . It is difficult to escape the conclusion that these transactions were somehow related to drug trafficking.”

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Rafeedie said federal agents have a tougher time fighting the drug war when “respectable” people such as Hoyland “surrender to the lure of easy money.”

“It sets a very bad example if a high school teacher becomes a cog in (the wheel of) narcotics trafficking,” Rafeedie said.

Hoyland’s attorney, Victor Sherman, argued during the trial that Hoyland believed his banking activities were legal and did not know that the law had been changed in January, 1987, to forbid such structuring of bank transactions.

Hoyland and John F. Ford, 42, a boat-builder from Long Beach, were arrested by state officials on separate money-laundering charges on Dec. 22, 1987, but the charges were dismissed.

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Authorities in that investigation had seized more than $1.1 million in cash, 50 1-ounce gold coins worth about $23,000, a 52-foot racing yacht, a Porsche and a Maserati from Hoyland and Ford, alleging that they were derived from money-laundering proceeds, Assistant U.S. Atty. Stephen Wolfe said.

No mention of drugs was made in the federal indictment against Hoyland, but police said traces of cocaine were found on the yacht and on bills he deposited in banks.

Hoyland taught science at Edison High School in Huntington Beach but is now on unpaid leave and has been told that he will be dismissed, said Susan Roper, personnel administrator for the Huntington Beach Union High School District.

Hoyland deposited about $65,267 into various Orange County branches of Security Pacific National Bank, Bank of Newport and Bank of America, always keeping his deposit amounts to less than $10,000. He also concealed the source of another $40,000 by exchanging $20 bills for $100 bills in 11 transactions at various county bank branches from Aug. 10, 1987, to Aug. 18, 1987.

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