Home Economy Wells Fargo Banker Pleads Guilty To Helping Launder Millions For Sinaloa Cartel

Wells Fargo Banker Pleads Guilty To Helping Launder Millions For Sinaloa Cartel

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A 30-year-old Wells Fargo personal banker pleaded guilty on Thursday to knowingly opening bank accounts for people working with the Sinaloa cartel for money laundering purposes.

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Seized money from the Sinaloa cartel, September 18, 2008. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Luis Figueroa of Tijuana admitted to the scheme which spanned the United States, according to Business Insider.

Between 2014 and 2016, money laundering organizations recruited people who would open bank accounts for the cartel’s drug money, according to the US Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of California. The operation laundered over $19 million dollars in narcotics proceeds.

The drug money would be deposited into the bank accounts, also known as “funnel accounts,” in amounts below the threshold for regulatory reporting. –Business Insider

Drug money would be picked up by cash couriers – often stuffed into “shopping bags, duffel bags or shoeboxes,” after which it would be deposited at Wells Fargo and other banks, according to a DOJ press release. Couriers traveled to Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte, Boston, New Jersey, and New York City to pick up drug money into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, picking up the money in private residences or public places such as parking lots or retail stores.

The couriers would deposit the bulk cash in $22,000 – $45,000 increments at various banks used for laundering, including Wells Fargo, after which funds were transferred into Mexico-based shell corporations operated by the launderers – which would then be transferred to the Sinaloa Cartel.

Figueroa, who was arrested in November in the joint FBI-IRS investigation, personally made several wire transfers from funnel accounts knowing that he was dealing with drug money. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Eight other people were arrested and charged in the scheme.

“We can’t allow our banks to be laundromats for cartel cash,” said US Attorney Robert Brewer. “Bank employees who launder drug money for traffickers will face prosecution and prison.”

The Sinaloa cartel is one of the largest drug trafficking groups in the world. Based in the West Coast of Mexico, the first lab believed to have produced fentanyl was found at a home in Sinaloa’s state capital.

via zerohedgefinance

2 COMMENTS

  1. Amazing how many ethnic, religious, and gender minorities help others of their persuasion to commit crimes against the US. Although this Figueroa was in TJ, he was working for a US bank and directly against US interests. Other Latinos/Hispanics assist in illegally bring drugs and immigrants into the US, giving them shelter, money, and other assistance. Many people in Mexico, including all government officials in Mexico are involved in assisting the migrant caravans to proceed through Mexico and into the US. These minorities are destroying the US because none of them are loyal to the US. They all love their native SH!THOLES much more. If given the choice they would always choose their own ethnic nations, but are here in the US mostly for the money and benefits that they cannot get in their home nations. Can anyone dispute this?

    • You are right. So onward to no more welfare for Mexicans and if the don’t speak English they are definitely illegal? Prosecutions should be real and dropping them off across the border, deep in central Latin America should be a given.

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