Lexington auto dealer surrenders $122,000, pleads guilty to federal charge

A Lexington auto dealer forfeited more than $120,000 and pleaded guilty to violating a federal deposit reporting law under a plea agreement, according to court documents.

Mona Shalash, owner of Auto Select, LLC, at 568 East New Circle Road, made 48 deposits totaling $419,148 between Sept. 12, 2008, and June 7, 2011, in amounts small enough to avoid triggering a federal law requiring banks to report transactions of more than $10,000, the plea agreement said. Auto Select had an account at Lexington's Traditional Bank.

Auto Select routinely received cash payments for vehicles, the government said.

In addition to entering a guilty plea Tuesday in federal district court, Auto Select dropped its claim for $122,410 seized from its bank account.

Auto Select was started by Shalash's father in 2002, according to court records. Shalash began working in auto sales for her father in 2007 before becoming a company bookkeeper. She made deposits for the company. In January 2010, Shalash assumed ownership of Auto Select.