Posts Tagged With Money Laundering

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Eight Foreign Businessmen Indicted On Charges of Conspiracy to Violate Economic Sanctions Against Syria, Crimea

On June 12, 2018, five Russian nationals and three Syrian nationals were charged with conspiring to violate U.S. economic sanctions against Syria and Crimea.  The charges were based on transactions conducted through a Russian shipping company, Sovracht, which had previously been designated for violating sanctions against Crimea and was not permitted to transact in U.S. dollars without first receiving a license from OFAC.  The alleged conspirators used fake companies and fabricated shipping records to conceal ... Continue Reading

Turkish Banker Sentenced to 32 Months for Conspiring to Violate U.S. Sanctions Against Iran and Other Offenses

On May 16, 2018, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the former Deputy General Manager of International Banking of a Turkish bank, was sentenced to 32 months in prison for his role in a scheme to violate U.S. economic sanctions against Iranian entities.  In January, a jury convicted Atilla of bank fraud and conspiracy charges in connection with the scheme, which involved the facilitation of billions of dollars in transactions in the proceeds of oil sales held in ... Continue Reading

Former Venezuelan Official Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Charge in Connection with Bribery Scheme

On April 19, 2018, Cesar David Rincon Godoy, a former general manager of the procurement subsidiary of Venezuelan state-owned energy company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (“PDVSA”), pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  The charge stemmed from an alleged scheme involving the payment of bribes by the owners of U.S.-based companies to Venezuelan government officials to secure contracts with PDVSA and payment priority on outstanding invoices.  According to admissions made in ... Continue Reading

Iranian Citizen Charged with Involvement in Scheme to Avoid U.S. Economic Sanctions Against Iran by Funneling $115 Million from Venezuela Through U.S. Banks

On March 20, 2018, an indictment was unsealed alleging that Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, an Iranian citizen, evaded U.S. sanctions by funneling his company’s proceeds from a Venezuelan infrastructure project through the U.S. financial system.  According to the indictment, Nejad and a co-conspirator used false passports to incorporate entities in Switzerland and Turkey and to set up U.S.-dollar bank accounts for these entities in Switzerland.  By concealing the Iranian nexus to the payments, Nejad was ... Continue Reading

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Criminal Charges Against U.S. Bancorp for Violations of the Bank Secrecy Act

On February 15, 2018, the DOJ announced that it was charging U.S. Bancorp (“Bancorp”) with two counts of violating the Bank Secrecy Act, based on conduct by its subsidiary, U.S. Bank NA (“U.S. Bank”), the fifth largest bank in the United States.  The DOJ agreed to defer prosecution for two years based on an agreement with U.S. Bank, in which it will pay a $528 million criminal penalty and undertake efforts to reform its Bank ... Continue Reading

Five Former Venezuelan Government Officials Charged in Money Laundering Scheme Involving Foreign Bribery

On February 12, 2018, five former officials of Venezuela’s state-owned energy company were charged with laundering the proceeds of bribes.  According to the indictment, the defendants—all of whom were at the time officials of state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (“PDVSA”) or other Venezuelan government instrumentalities—conspired to launder the proceeds of bribes that several of them had solicited from vendors in exchange for offering the vendors preferential treatment in dealings with PDVSA.  The five individuals allegedly ... Continue Reading

Rabobank NA Pleads Guilty, Agrees to Pay Over $360 Million in Connection with Anti-Money Laundering Failures

On February 7, 2018, Rabobank National Association (“Rabobank”), a U.S. subsidiary of Netherlands-based Cooperative Rabobank U.A., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to corruptly obstruct the examination of a financial institution.  According to court filings, Rabobank executives conspired to conceal significant deficiencies in the bank’s Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and anti-money laundering (“AML”) program and to obstruct a periodic examination of Rabobank’s Southern California operations by the Office ... Continue Reading

Arkansas State Senator Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud, Money Laundering and Bank Fraud

On January 29, 2018, Arkansas State Senator Jake C. Files pled guilty before Chief U.S. District Court Judge P. K. Holmes III of the Western District of Arkansas to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud, one count of money laundering, and one count of bank fraud.  Files admitted that, between August 2016 and December 2016, he used his government position to obtain state funds, known as General Improvement Funds (“GIF”), through ... Continue Reading

Former President of Maryland-Based Transportation Company Indicted on 11 Counts Related to Foreign Bribery, Fraud, and Money Laundering Scheme

On January 12, 2018, federal officials announced an 11-count grand jury indictment that was filed against the former co-president of a Maryland-based transportation company specializing in the transportation of nuclear materials in connection with an alleged foreign bribery scheme.  According to the indictment, Maryland resident Mark Lambert conspired with others at the transportation company (“Transportation Company A”) between at least 2009 and October 2014 to bribe an official at JSC Techsnabexport (“TENEX”), a subsidiary of ... Continue Reading

Scott Tucker Sentenced to 200 Months in Prison for Operating Fraudulent Internet Payday Lender

On January 5, 2018, Acting Deputy U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joan Loughnane announced that Scott Tucker had been sentenced to 200 months in prison for his role in a fraudulent internet payday lending operation.  Tucker, along with attorney Timothy Muir, had been convicted on October 13, 2017, following a five-week trial, of fourteen counts of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering, and Truth-In-Lending Act offenses.  Muir was sentenced to 84 months ... Continue Reading

Turkish Banker Convicted of Conspiring to Evade U.S. Sanctions against Iran and Other Offenses

On January 3, 2018, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a citizen and resident of Turkey, was found guilty of conspiring with others to use the U.S. financial system to conduct transactions on behalf of the Government of Iran and other Iranian entities and to defraud U.S. financial institutions by concealing the nature of these transactions.  After a four-week trial before U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman, a federal jury convicted Atilla on five of six charges in ... Continue Reading

Former Embraer Sales Executive Pleads Guilty to Foreign Bribery and Fraud Charges

On December 21, 2017, a former sales executive of Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer S.A. (“Embraer”) pled guilty to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), wire fraud, money laundering, and false-statements charges in connection with his role in an alleged bribery scheme involving Saudi Arabia’s state-controlled oil company.  According to the criminal information filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and statements made during court proceedings, British national Colin Steven orchestrated payments ... Continue Reading

Former CEO and Former Chief Loan Officer of Failed Sonoma Valley Bank Convicted After Trial of Bank Fraud and Other Crimes

On December 18, 2017, three individuals, including the former CEO and former Chief Loan Officer of defunct Sonoma Valley Bank (“SVB” or the “Bank”) were convicted by a federal jury of multiple criminal charges that stemmed from a series of schemes carried out between 2004 and the Bank’s collapse in August 2010.  Former SVB CEO Sean Clark Cutting and former CLO Brian Scott Melland were convicted following an eight-week trial in U.S. District Court for ... Continue Reading

Former CEO of Mobile Aggregation Company Convicted in Consumer Fraud Auto-Subscription Scheme

On December 15, 2017, Joon H. Kim, then-Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Darcy Wedd had been convicted of two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of aggravated identity theft.  Wedd, the former CEO of mobile aggregation company Mobile Messenger, had engaged in a scheme to defraud consumers of more than $100 ... Continue Reading

Day Trader Indicted in Computer Hacking and Securities Fraud Scheme Targeting Online Brokerage Accounts

On November 8, 2017, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn returned a four-count indictment charging Pennsylvania resident Joseph P. Willner with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and computer intrusions, securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.  According to the indictment, Willner and others conspired to hack into the online brokerage accounts of numerous victims and to place unauthorized trades in those accounts between September 2014 and May 2017.  Willner ... Continue Reading

Russian National and Bitcoin Exchange Charged in 21-Count Indictment for Operating Alleged International Money Laundering Scheme and Allegedly Laundering Funds from Hack of Mt. Gox

On July 26, 2017, a grand jury in California indicted Alexander Vinnik, a Russian national, for money laundering, operating an unlicensed money service business (BTC-e), and related crimes.  One day prior to the indictment, Vinnik was arrested in Greece.  The indictment alleges that Vinnik stole identities, facilitated drug trafficking, and helped launder criminal proceeds.  Vinnik is also accused of receiving funds from the infamous hack of Mt. Gox and laundering them through online exchanges, including ... Continue Reading

Man Who Laundered Millions from Massive Computer Hacking and Telecommunications Fraud Scheme Gets 48 Months in Prison

On June 28, 2017, Muhammad Sohail Qasmani was sentenced to 48 months in prison in connection with a scheme to launder more than $19.6 million as part of a global computer hacking and telecommunications fraud scheme.  According to the documents filed in this and related cases, Noor Aziz of Karachi, Pakistan, allegedly led a scheme to  access without authorization the computer systems that ran the internal telephone networks of numerous businesses and organizations in the ... Continue Reading

Operator of Unlawful Bitcoin Exchange Sentenced to More than 5 Years in Prison for Leading Multimillion-Dollar Money Laundering and Fraud Scheme

On June 27, 2017, Anthony R. Murgio was sentenced to 66 months in prison for operating an internet-based Bitcoin exchange through which Murgio processed more than $10 million in illegal Bitcoin transactions.  According to the Superseding Indictment and statements made during court proceedings, Murgio operated Coin.mx, the unlawful exchange, between 2013 and July 2015.  Coin.mx was founded in violation of federal anti-money laundering laws and regulations, including those requiring exchanges like Coin.mx to meet state ... Continue Reading

Former Managing Director at Swiss Bank Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Charge in Connection with Soccer Bribery Scheme / Former General Secretary of Guatemalan Soccer Federation Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud Charges

On June 15, 2017, Jorge Luis Arzuaga, a former managing director at the Swiss bank Julius Baer, pled guilty to a money laundering charge in the latest update in the sprawling FIFA corruption scandal.  According to the plea agreement, Arzuaga managed Swiss bank accounts for Alejandro Burzaco, an Argentinian sports marketing executive.  Burzaco pled guilty to paying $110 million in bribes to Julio Grondona, a senior executive at FIFA and the president of Argentina’s soccer ... Continue Reading

United States Seeks to Recover Approximately $540 Million Obtained from Corruption Involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund

On June 15, 2017, the Justice Department filed additional civil forfeiture complaints to recover an additional $540 million in assets as part of the investigation into 1MBD, the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.  The investigation has revealed that 1MBD officials, with the help of their friends and families, diverted more than $4.5 billion through United States financial institutions in order to buy and invest in assets for personal use.  The most recent civil forfeiture action includes ... Continue Reading

United States Files Complaint to Forfeit More Than $1.9 Million from China-Based Company Accused of Acting as a Front for Sanctioned North Korean Bank

On June 14, 2017, the United States filed a civil forfeiture complaint against Mingzheng International Trading Limited, alleging that Mingzheng is a sham financial institution laundering United States dollars for North Korean entities facing international sanctions.  In 2013, the United States imposed sanctions on the Foreign Trade Bank, a financial institution owned and controlled by the North Korean government.  The Foreign Trade Bank has foreign branches, including in northeastern China—the home of Mingzheng.  According to ... Continue Reading

Banamex USA Agrees to Forfeit $97 Million in Connection with Bank Secrecy Act Violations

On May 22, 2017, Banamex USA (BUSA) entered a non-prosecution agreement with the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice to resolve an investigation into its Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) violations.  As part of its agreement, BUSA forfeited approximately $97.5 million, admitted to willfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering compliance program to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), and agreed to fully cooperate with the Department of Justice’s BSA and federal money laundering investigations ... Continue Reading

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces $5.9 Million Settlement of Civil Money Laundering and Forfeiture Claims Against Real Estate Corporations Alleged To Have Laundered Proceeds of Russian Tax Fraud

On May 12, 2017, 11 corporations, including some that own high-end residential and commercial property in Manhattan, settled a money laundering and civil forfeiture action in the Southern District of New York.  As part of the stipulation of settlement, Prevezon Holdings Ltd., one of the defendant corporations, agreed to pay approximately $5.9 million to resolve the claims against all defendants.  According to the complaint, the defendant corporations laundered a portion of the proceeds of an ... Continue Reading

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Settlement of Bank Secrecy Act Suit Against Former Chief Compliance Officer at MoneyGram for Failure To Implement and Maintain an Effective Anti-Money Laundering Program and File Timely SARS

On May 4, 2017, a settlement was reached with Thomas Haider, the former chief compliance officer of MoneyGram International, Inc. (“MoneyGram”).  The settlement resolves claims that Haider violated the Bank Secrecy Act by failing to ensure that MoneyGram had an effective anti-money laundering program and filed timely suspicious activity reports with FinCEN.  As part of the settlement, Haider must pay $250,000 and is prevented from performing a compliance function for any money transmitter for three ... Continue Reading

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