Tuesday, August 7, 2018

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Baltia Air Lines’ largest stockholder arrested

 Drago, speaking at the May 2017 Baltia shareholders meeting at Stewart Airport

NEW YORK – The majority stockholder in fledgling air carrier Baltia Air Lines, which wants to operate overseas service from New York Stewart International Airport, has been arrested on unrelated federal charges.

John Drago, of St. James, on Long Island, owns over one billion shares of stock in the company that hopes to start air service as US Global Airways.

The owner and compliance officer of the Kayla Companies, Drago has been charged with several criminal violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, including failure to file required Currency Transaction Reports for customers receiving more than $10,000.

According to an eight-count indictment filed in Central Islip federal court, Drago owned and operated check casing businesses on Long Island. As alleged, from January 2010 to October 31, 2013, he instructed employees to cash several checks of more than $10,000 in a single day for certain customers without filing required Currency Transaction Reports.

Between August 1, 2010 and October 31, 2013, 2013, Drago also allegedly directed employees to deposit and cash, over the course of several days, checks that had been submitted together on a single day in amounts exceeding $10,000.

He also instructed employees to tell certain customers who presented individual checks of over $10,000 to return with several checks in amounts that were less than $10,000 to avoid the reporting requirement for such financial transactions.

As a result of those alleged practices, Drago is also charged with failing to file Currency Transaction Reports and failing to develop, implement and maintain an effective anti-money laundering program for the Kayla Companies.

Drago also allegedly paid overtime wages and commissions to employees in cash and failed to inform the IRS of the payment of those cash wage. He allegedly falsely underreported to the IRS the gross wages paid to his workers to avoid paying the full amount of Federal Insurance Contribution Act taxes that the Kayla Companies owed.

If convicted, Drago faces up to 10 years in prison.

 


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