Posts Tagged With Money Laundering

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Mozambique’s Former Finance Minister Indicted Alongside Other Former Mozambican Officials, Business Executives, and Investment Bankers in Alleged $2 Billion Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme that Victimized U.S. Investors

On March 7, 2019, a four-count indictment was unsealed charging three former senior Mozambican government officials, investment bankers, and business executives in connection with a $2 billion fraud and money laundering scheme.  According to the indictment, between 2013 and 2016 the defendants organized loans made to entities controlled by the Mozambican government.  The defendants allegedly defrauded U.S. investors by misrepresenting the purpose of the loans and the ability of Mozambique and its state-owned entities to
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Former Head of Organization Backed by Chinese Energy Conglomerate Convicted of International Bribery, Money Laundering Offenses

On December 5, 2018, a federal jury in New York convicted the head of a Hong Kong- and Virginia-based nongovernmental organization on seven criminal counts for his participation in a multi-year, multimillion-dollar scheme to bribe top officials of Chad and Uganda to secure business advantages for a Chinese oil and gas conglomerate.  According to trial evidence and court documents, the defendant, Chi Ping Patrick Ho, was involved in two schemes: offering a $2 million bribe
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Four Defendants Charged in Panama Papers Investigation for Their Roles in Panamanian-Based Global Law Firm’s Decades-Long Scheme to Defraud the United States

On December 4, 2018, four individuals were charged with wire fraud, tax fraud, money laundering, and other counts in connection with a criminal scheme involving Mossack Fonseca & Co. (“Mossack Fonseca”), a Panamanian law firm.  According to the indictment, from 2000 through 2017, the defendants conspired with others to help U.S. taxpayers and clients of Mossack Fonseca to conceal assets from the IRS through fraudulent means.  These individuals allegedly used sham foundations and shell companies
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Venezuelan Billionaire News Network Owner, Former Venezuelan National Treasurer, and Former Owner of Dominican Republic Bank Charged in Money-Laundering Conspiracy Involving over $1 Billion in Bribes

On November 20, 2018, a Venezuelan billionaire who owns the Globovision news network was charged for his alleged role in a billion-dollar currency exchange and money-laundering scheme.  On the same day, a former Venezuelan national treasurer and former owner of Dominican Republic-based Banco Peravia pleaded guilty to charges for their roles in the scheme.  The charges involve a scheme to pay and receive bribes in exchange for the right to conduct foreign exchange transactions on
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MoneyGram International Inc. Agrees to Extend Deferred Prosecution Agreement, Forfeits $125 Million in Settlement with Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission

On November 8, 2018, officials announced that money services business MoneyGram International, Inc. (“MoneyGram”) had breached a 2012 deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) with DOJ in relation to its anti-fraud and anti-money laundering (“AML”) programs.  MoneyGram was charged in November 2012 with failing to maintain an effective AML program and aiding and abetting wire fraud, after MoneyGram agents and others engaged in fraud schemes through the company’s payment systems.  At the time, DOJ agreed to defer
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Former Executive Director at Venezuelan State-Owned Oil Company, Petroleos De Venezuela, S.A., Pleads Guilty to Role in Billion-Dollar Money Laundering Conspiracy

On October 31, 2018, a former executive director at the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (“PDVSA”), pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for his role in a billion-dollar international scheme to launder funds embezzled from PDVSA.  Abraham Edgardo Ortega, who was PDVSA’s Executive Director of Financial Planning, admitted as part of his plea that in his position with PDVSA, he accepted $5 million in bribes to give
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Financial Advisor Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Charge in Connection with Bribery Scheme Involving Ecuadorian Officials

On September 11, 2018, Jose Larrea, a Miami-based financial advisor, pleaded guilty to a money laundering conspiracy charge for his involvement in a scheme to bribe officials at Ecuador’s state-owned oil company, PetroEcuador.  Larrea admitted to wiring more than $1 million in funds to conceal the bribes, which an oil services contractor paid to PetroEcuador officials to secure business.  Larrea is the fourth individual to plead guilty in this case.

United States v. Larrea,
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Former Swiss Bank Executive Pleads Guilty to Role in Billion-Dollar International Money Laundering Scheme Involving Funds Embezzled from Venezuelan State-Owned Oil Company

On August 22, 2018, the former vice chairman of a Swiss bank pleaded guilty to a money-laundering conspiracy charge in connection with an alleged scheme to launder $1.2 billion that had been embezzled from Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA.  According to his plea agreement, starting in 2016, Matthias Krull assisted several Venezuelan clients in laundering embezzled PDVSA funds through fictitious investment schemes and real estate transactions.  Krull, who was arrested on several additional charges in
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“Bitcoin Maven” Sentenced to One Year in Federal Prison in Bitcoin Money Laundering Case

On July 9, 2018, Theresa Lynn Tetley, a former stockbroker and real estate investor known as the “Bitcoin Maven,” was sentenced to one year in prison.  In a first-of-its-kind case, the Central District of California alleged that Tetley offered “bitcoin-for-cash exchange services” without properly registering as a money services business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”).  Tetley pleaded guilty to one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and one count of money
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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