OAKLAND -- An East Bay businessman whose recent work has included reopening a shuttered card room in downtown Antioch was indicted this week by a federal grand jury on six charges of money laundering, federal law enforcement officials said.
A federal grand jury charged that Tony Keslinke, 46, conspired to launder money several times between August 2013 and February 2014, according to an indictment filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.
Keslinke accepted a total of $550,000 from an undercover federal agent purporting to be a drug dealer, according to court documents. The case, including affidavits from IRS special agents, had been sealed by way of court order since Feb. 6.
In the affidavit, IRS Special Agent Mark Twitchell described a conversation with Keslinke during an Aug. 20, 2013, meeting in which Keslinke allegedly stressed the importance of creating a "structure that doesn't raise an eyebrow." Keslinke said he would tell banks the influx of cash deposits were from a new business he bought, according to Twitchell.
Keslinke allegedly attempted to launder the money by wiring it from his business bank accounts to an account controlled by the undercover agent, keeping 8 to 10 percent of the money provided to him from the undercover agent as a fee for his services.
Keslinke, a Danville resident, has worked on renovating dilapidated buildings throughout downtown Antioch in recent years, including the ABC Building on A Street. He recently has been working to reopen Kelly's Restaurant and Card Room, receiving city approval in November. Kelly's cannot hold card games until the California Gambling Control Commission grants it temporary approval.
Keslinke was arrested Feb. 10 at his residence, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag. That same day, according to the indictment, agents seized more than $320,000 in cash from Keslinke's residence and approximately $1.4 million from bank accounts under his control. Keslinke is out of custody on a $450,000 bond, pending trial. Keslinke said Friday morning he was unaware of the indictment and had no comment.
He is scheduled to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Oakland on June 5. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of money laundering alleged in the indictment is 20 years imprisonment.
If convicted, Keslinke might have to forfeit about $1.72 million in seized assets, 500 American silver coins and one Tiffany diamond solitaire ring, according to court documents.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.