Major players plead guilty in ‘funnel account’ scam at Rio Rico bank
Nogales International, 2 May 2021
Three key members of a scheme to transfer organized crime proceeds from the United States to Mexico through so-called “funnel accounts” opened at the Wells Fargo bank in Rio Rico have now pleaded guilty to federal charges.
The latest guilty plea, which was accepted by a judge during a hearing on Wednesday at U.S. District Court in Tucson, was from Carlos Antonio Vasquez, the former manager of the bank branch. He agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering – a crime that normally carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, but for which Vasquez will receive no more than 34 months (2 years, 10 months) in exchange for his plea.
The conspiracy reportedly lasted from February 2017 until August 2019. Continue reading “Article: Major players plead guilty in ‘funnel account’ scam at Rio Rico bank”
Chinese money-laundering rings in Chicago, New York cleaning Mexican drug cartel cash
Frank Main and Jon Seidel , 30 April 2021
A Chinese money-launderer was about to pick up Mexican drug-cartel cash in Chicago, federal authorities say, when his plans suddenly changed.
They say the suspected launderer got a call from a man he thought was a Mexican money courier who told him they needed to change their meeting place because he’d spotted a cop. “You Asian, I’m Mexican — not a good look,” the courier said in the 2017 phone call, court records show.
So they picked a different address to meet. They described their cars to each other. And when they met on the Southwest Side, they had a way to identify each other, authorities say: The money-launderer handed the courier a $1 bill. The men had agreed earlier that the serial number on the bill — G5915410C — would confirm the Chinese man’s identity. Authorities say that’s common in the world of drug-trafficking. Continue reading “Article: Chinese money-laundering rings in Chicago, New York cleaning Mexican drug cartel cash”
Xianbing Gan Gets 14 Years For Having Chicago Drug Proceeds Laundered Through China To Be Sent To Traffickers In Mexico
CBS 2 Chicago Staff, 27 April 2021
CHICAGO (CBS) — A man was sentenced to 14 years in prison Tuesday for having drug proceeds picked up in Chicago and laundering them through China to have them sent to drug traffickers in Mexico.
Prosecutors said Xianbing Gan schemed in 2018 to have about $534,206 in narcotics proceeds picked up in Chicago and then transferred to various bank accounts in China – with the money ultimately intended for the drug traffickers in Mexico. Continue reading “Article: Xianbing Gan Gets 14 Years For Having Chicago Drug Proceeds Laundered Through China To Be Sent To Traffickers In Mexico”
India does not see logic in U.S. putting it on currency watchlist
Reuters, 20 April 2021
India does not see any logic in the United States putting it on a monitoring list of currency manipulators, a trade ministry official said on Tuesday.
“I don’t understand any economic logic,” Anup Wadhawan, India’s commerce secretary told reporters. The Reserve Bank of India is following a policy that allows currency movements based on market forces, he said.
Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department put India along with 10 other economies including Singapore, Thailand and Mexico on the “Monitoring List” that it said required close attention to their currency practices. read more Continue reading “Article: India does not see logic in U.S. putting it on currency watchlist”
Mirror Trading International Named Biggest Crypto Scam of the Year After Raking in $589 Million – Regulation Bitcoin News
Mark Viduka, 05 April 2021
Blockchain evaluation agency, Chainalysis’ newest crime report has named Mirror Buying and selling Worldwide (MTI) as the largest cryptocurrency rip-off of 2020. Chainalysis arrived at this conclusion after an investigation discovered that MTI had taken in $589 million from greater than 471,000 deposits. In line with the report, MTI’s haul is considerably greater than that of Forsage and J-enco, the following greatest scams. Each scams raked in lower than $350 million every. Continue reading “Article: Mirror Trading International Named Biggest Crypto Scam of the Year After Raking in $589 Million – Regulation Bitcoin News”
Man Group Dials Up Short Bets as Turkey Stirs Fragile Five Fears
Ben Bartenstein, 03 April 2021
The market meltdown following Turkey’s central-bank shakeup is reviving a longtime debate among the world’s largest money managers and Ivy League economists over the vulnerability of developing nations.
Doomsayers including Man Group Plc, the world’s biggest publicly listed hedge-fund firm, and the Institute of International Finance’s chief economist Robin Brooks warn that the turmoil battering Turkish securities could ripple across emerging markets in a repeat of the 2013 taper tantrum. Yet that gloomy scenario isn’t the dominant narrative in the hallways of Pacific Investment Management Co., BlackRock Inc. and Ashmore Group Plc, which have some of the largest exposures to the nations that might be next in the crosshairs. Continue reading “Article: Man Group Dials Up Short Bets as Turkey Stirs Fragile Five Fears”
Freeman considered flight risk, remains locked up
Damien Fisher, 30 March 2021
CONCORD, NH – Free Keene leader Ian Freeman isn’t getting out of prison pending trial on federal money laundering charges after Judge Andrea Johnstone found he is a flight risk, and he poses a risk to the community.
Part of the allegations against Freeman is that he was laundering money through his Bitcoin business and Shire Free Church that criminal scammers got through various crimes. Johnston writes that Freeman knew for years his business was under investigation and that did not stop him from allegedly doing more harm. Continue reading “Article: Freeman considered flight risk, remains locked up”
Claiming flight risk, judge orders Free Keene activist held until bitcoin money laundering trial
Mark Hayward New Hampshire Union Leader, 30 March 2021
CONCORD — Free Keene activist and cryptocurrency trader Ian Freeman will remain behind bars as he awaits trial on charges of money laundering, fraud and other financial crimes, a magistrate judge ruled Monday.
In a 17-page order that lays out the decision, Judge Andrea Johnstone said she is not confident that a freed Freeman will show up for trial in the future. She also feared that his freedom could allow his alleged crimes to continue.
During a hearing earlier this month, prosecutors described the wealth Freeman has built up in his exchange business, including 28 bitcoins, a $1.6 million cache this is almost impossible to trace and can be accessed anywhere. Continue reading “Article: Claiming flight risk, judge orders Free Keene activist held until bitcoin money laundering trial”
Ex-Mexico Governor Linked to Drug Cartels Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering in U.S
Mary Anne Webber, 26 March 2021
A former governor of Tamaulipas, Mexico on Thursday pleaded guilty in a Texas court for taking over $3.5 million in bribes for government contracts, which he then laundered in the United States.
Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba, 64, was the governor of Tamaulipas from 1999 to 2005. Yarrington walked into U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle’s courtroom shortly before 1 p.m. Continue reading “Article: Ex-Mexico Governor Linked to Drug Cartels Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering in U.S.”
Eight Charged with Conspiring to Distribute Fentanyl and Cocaine and Money Laundering Conspiracy
District of Massachusetts, 24 March 2021
BOSTON – Eight people were charged in federal court in Boston in connection with an investigation into a Boston-based fentanyl and cocaine trafficking and money laundering organization.
According to charging documents, a year-long wiretap investigation revealed that the defendants, who were directly connected to a poly-drug trafficking organization operating in Mexico, were actively distributing fentanyl and cocaine and laundering drug proceeds on behalf of a Mexican organization.
“All eyes have been on the COVID pandemic, but the opioid epidemic continues to kill thousands of people in Massachusetts each year,” said Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell. “Prosecuting drug traffickers who profit off of addiction and desperation is essential to save lives, protect the vulnerable and make communities safer. On behalf of all our federal partners, I would like to acknowledge the exceptional work of the Massachusetts State Police in this case. Their investigative skills and commitment to teamwork made this result possible.” Continue reading “Article: Eight Charged with Conspiring to Distribute Fentanyl and Cocaine and Money Laundering Conspiracy”
Alleged RCMP mole accused of selling secrets to kingpin money launderer and terror-financier’s network
Sam Cooper, Global News, 14 January 2021
In October 2014, Canadian intelligence leaders were invited to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s headquarters in Chantilly, Va. The DEA had a theory: the upper echelons of global money laundering, terrorism, drug-trafficking and organized crime all bleed together. And only a handful of men in this murky world of extremely powerful criminals had organizations capable of laundering more than $10 billion annually. Continue reading “Alleged RCMP mole accused of selling secrets to kingpin money launderer and terror-financier’s network”
The Vitol Enforcement Action: Part 1 – Market Manipulation Through Corruption
Thomas Fox, 07 December 2020
Last week the Department of Justice (DOJ) settled a multi-part enforcement action, partly involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), with Vitol Inc. (Vitol), the US subsidiary of Vitol Holding II SA. Vitol agreed to pay a combined $135 million to resolve matters.
Interestingly, also included in the overall settlement was a disgorgement of more than $12.7 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in a related matter and a penalty payment to the CFTC of $16 million related to trading activity. The FCPA component was settled via a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) and Criminal Information (Information). Continue reading “Article: The Vitol Enforcement Action: Part 1 – Market Manipulation Through Corruption”
Vitol to pay $95.7 million to settle fraud, market manipulation charges
Reuters Staff, 04 December 2020
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Energy and commodities trading firm Vitol Inc has agreed to pay $95.7 million to settle charges of corruption-based fraud and attempted market manipulation, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Thursday.
Houston-based Vitol did not admit or deny the charges, but agreed to pay the civil penalties related to making bribes and offering kickbacks to employees of certain state-owned entities in Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico in exchange for “preferential treatment and access to trades,” the regulator said.
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HSBC pays record $1.9bn fine to settle US money-laundering accusations
Jill Treanor and Dominic Rushe, 11 December 2012
HSBC was guilty of a “blatant failure” to implement anti-money laundering controls and wilfully flouted US sanctions, American prosecutors said, as the bank was forced to pay a record $1.9bn (£1.2bn) to settle allegations it allowed terrorists to move money around the financial system.
Hours after the bank’s chief executive, Stuart Gulliver, said he was “profoundly sorry” for the failures, assistant attorney general Lanny Breuer told a press conference in New York that Mexican drug traffickers deposited hundreds of thousands of dollars each day in HSBC accounts. At least $881m in drug trafficking money was laundered throughout the bank’s accounts. Continue reading “Article: HSBC pays record $1.9bn fine to settle US money-laundering accusations”