Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Florida man charged with using his armored car business to launder $140 million worth of gold

[He allegedly] used his industry experience and contacts to facilitate the importation of thousands of kilograms of illicitly-sourced gold being flown into the United States from Curacao.  The sellers of the gold were co-conspirators based in the Caribbean.  The buyers of the gold were co-conspirators based in South Florida and Latin America who earned volume-based commissions by procuring gold for ... a U.S. precious metals refinery with policies in place to combat money laundering, including not buying gold from Curacao, a country with no gold mines that is commonly used as a waypoint for gold illegally mined in, and smuggled out of, South America. 
A federal judge Wednesday threatened to throw out the guilty plea of a veteran U.S. narcotics agent who conspired with a Colombian cartel money launderer — an unexpected twist that could derail one of the most egregious misconduct cases in the history of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
it’s unclear what lessons the DEA has learned from [the agent's] scheme and whether other agents assigned to the Miami field office where his criminal activity began were involved. His guilty plea also leaves many unanswered questions about the level of supervision he received during his career, in which he had been entrusted with the government’s use of front companies, shell bank accounts and couriers to combat international drug trafficking.