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.
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. – READ MORE