There are two types of people in jail or prison: those who were wrongfully accused and victimized by an unjust system, and those who are guilty and whose punishment is just according to the system of law they have broken. The Bible has something to say to both the innocent and guilty who are in jail/prison. To the guilty, the Bible recommends truth and submission to the laws of the government, and it offers freedom from the spiritual prison of sin—freedom that comes through the person of Christ (Romans 6:18). To the innocent and wrongfully accused, the Bible offers peace, patience, and hope in difficult circumstances, as well as the hope of heavenly reward.Source
A Mexican national has pleaded guilty in federal court to being part of an expansive money laundering network across the United States, knowingly opening bank accounts to cleanse illicit drug funds for the violent Sinaloa cartel.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) stated Luis Fernando Figueroa of Tijuana pleaded guilty in federal court today to money laundering charges as part of a group that moved more than $19 million, admitting that he worked with others to launder and transfer money to Mexico through accounts he opened up at Wells Fargo as a personal banker.
The group “laundered approximately $19.6 million dollars in narcotics proceeds on behalf of Mexican based drug trafficking organizations to include the Sinaloa Cartel between 2014 and 2016,” according to federal prosecutors.
The organization attempted to fool the bank from putting all the pieces together by recruiting individuals to “serve as funnel account holders to open personal bank accounts at Wells Fargo Bank and other U.S. banks,” according to investigators.
Other members of the money laundering organization, known as couriers, travelled to Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte, Boston, New Jersey, and New York City to pick up bulk cash narcotics proceeds that ranged from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in narcotics proceeds.
The couriers “made contact with individuals holding the bulk cash in private residences or public places such as parking lots and retail stores,” according to DOJ. “The cash was typically concealed in shopping bags, duffel bags or shoeboxes.”
The couriers then deposited the bulk cash in increments of $22,000 to $45,000 into the funnel bank accounts at Wells Fargo Bank and other U.S. banks controlled by the money laundering organization, according to DOJ.
The funds were then wire transferred from the funnel accounts to a series of Mexico based shell companies operated by the money laundering organization.
Figueroa himself made multiple wire transfers from the funnel accounts knowing that the funds were from unlawful activity. Once in Mexico, the funds were transferred to representatives of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Figueroa’s arrest by the FBI in November 2018 was the last in a string of indictments and arrests tied to the international money laundering organization based in Tijuana, Mexico but operating primarily in San Diego, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
To date, eight former members and leaders of the organization have been arrested and charged in San Diego. Six of those arrested have pleaded guilty, (via DOJ).
This story reveals what has been a historical Achilles heel for even the best AML programs – corrupt insiders. These individuals take the time to intimately know anti-money laundering (AML) rules just to circumvent.
What this story doesn’t say, and wouldn’t know just because these details are deliberately secret, is how much Wells Fargo did know about this money laundering scheme and if it was an ally to law enforcement by filing suspicious activity reports (SARs) and keeping investigators abreast of the laundering network just as it tried to ferret out any co-opted insiders.Source
Greed is a strong and selfish desire to have more of something, most often money or power. There are many warnings in the Bible about giving in to greed and longing for riches. Jesus warned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal… You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:19, 24b). Did Jesus pursue the acquisition of money? No. On the contrary, He became poor for our sake (2 Corinthians 8:9) and had “no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). Neither did Jesus pursue power. Rather, He instructed, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43–45). Source
Editor, Bankster Crime
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