White Collar Crime Prof Blog Explores Possible Money Laundering Charges Against Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer

The White Collar Crime Prof Blog published a post earlier this month examining the possible money laundering charges against former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. The post notes that if Spitzer split deposits or withdrawals in the banks accounts used to pay for his flings to stay below the $10,000 threshold for filing a Currency Transaction Report by the bank, then he could be guilty of structuring under 31 U.S.C. Sec. 5324(a). Supreme Court and Second Circuit decisions discussing the scope of this federal statute are reviewed.

Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

The online version of the Boston Globe recently reported that a New Hampshire drug dealer, Christopher Bouchard, has plead guilty to federal money laundering charges and to state charges of being a drug enterprise leader. He was accused of conspiring to distribute thousands of pounds of marijuana and a large amount of cocaine in a scheme that reached from Arizona to New Hampshire.

Prosecutors say Bouchard funneled drug money through a Manchester restaurant, landscaping business, car dealership and real estate. Bouchard will forfeit several vehicles, a Weirs Beach condo, proceeds from the sale of a second condo, his Manchester home and $1.3 million.

See the full story here.

Virginia Man Charged in Money Laundering Scheme

A 56 year old man from Newport News, Virigina, was arrested recently on charges of laundering millions of dollars. The defendant deliberately avoided making deposits of $10,000 or more in cash that he generated from his tobacco store, in order to avoid triggering the filing of "currency transaction reports" by his banks. Instead, the defendant would go to multiple banks and make several smaller deposits just under $10,000. Such actions constitute a Federal offense.

See further details here

Mosque Leaders In NY Convicted Of Money Laundering

Two leaders of a mosque in upstate New York, Yassin Aref (the spiritual leader at the Masjid as-Salam mosque in Albany), and Mohammed Hossain (co-founder of the mosque), were convicted of federal charges of laundering money in connection with an FBI sting. The two were also charged with trying to support Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistani group identified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.

See further details here.

Bonds' trainer to withdraw guilty plea to steroid distribution and money laundering charges

Greg Anderson, the personal trainer to Barry Bonds, wants to withdraw his 2005 guilty plea to steroid distribution and money laundering charges, his lawyer, Mark Geragos, announced last week. Geragos made his intentions known as he urged a federal judge to release Anderson from prison for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating whether Bonds lied when he told a grand jury that he never knowingly used steroids.

See further details here.

Former Comverse CEO to Face Money Laundering Charges

As many of our readers were undoubtedly aware, the United States had been searching worldwide for the whereabouts of Kobi Alexander, former CEO of Comverse. A fugitive, Alexander had been charged in a sealed indictment in connection with a stock options scandal.

Recently, Alexander was located in Namibia, where he was arrested while eating lunch with his wife at a country club. Shortly thereafter, the indictment was unsealed. Spread out over 44 pages, the indictment consists of 32 charges, including one for money laundering, which alleges that Alexander transferred $57 million from a Citigroup account in New York to a bank account in Israel for the purpose of hiding said funds from the American authorities.

See the full story here including a brief account of how Alexander was finally located by the FBI.

Florida Businessman Convicted of Laundering Money

Thomas King, the owner of Miralink Group Inc., an employee leasing firm that provided workers to other companies, provided its workers with workers compensation insurance through an insurance company that was not authorized to do business in any state in the U.S. The scheme resulted in, among other things, convictions on three counts of money laundering (each count carries a maximum 20-year sentence).

See the full story here.

mortgage broker charged with money laundering in drug sting

The Department of Justice recently announced that Oregon native Jerod Lee Keyser was charged with money laundering in connection with use of his company, Infinity Financial Group, to furnish loans to individuals involved in a major drug trafficking operation. The loans were used to buy properties in Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado and Hawaii.

See the full story here.

Toronto Lawyer lawyer jailed for money laundering

We wrote about the guilty plea of prominent Toronto attorney Peter Shoniker on money laundering charges in an August post. The recent news from Canada is that Shoniker was sentenced this week to 15 months imprisonment. He can apply for parole after serving one-third of his sentence.

See the full story here.

FATF Gives United States High Marks on Its Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Program

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body whose purpose is the development and promotion of national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The FATF reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques, and monitors members' progress in implementing necessary counter-measures. 

The CounterTerrorism Blog noted in a post yesterday that the FATF had sent a team to the United States last spring to evaluate American compliance with FATF recommendations. A report was issued in June that provides valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the United States' anti money laundering program. In particular, the report praised U.S. progress in "terms of prosecutions, convictions, seizures, asset freezing, confiscation and regulatory enforcement actions." These favorable results stem in large part from the from the enactment and implementation of the Patriot Act and the Bank Secrecy Act. One sore point was overlap between the jurisdictions of the various law enforcement agencies, which complicates coordination between these agencies.

See the full FTAF evaluation report of the United States here.

Visit the FATF website here.