- Six persons charged for laundering funds for drug dealers in Mexico.
- They mostly used cryptocurrency, and casino to get away with the illegal act.
The United States Department of Justice has unsealed indictments against a group of people who were alleged laundering funds for drug cartels in Mexico. The document reads that persons laundered these funds via cryptocurrency and casinos. Money laundering increasingly makes the lists in crypto crimes, as many criminals switch to using digital currency to avoid being caught by authorities.
Crypto crimes involving Mexican drug dealers
Per the document, the DOJ charged a total of six persons at the Eastern District Court of Virginia. The defendants are namely Tao Liu (45 yrs), Xizhi Li (45 yrs), Eric Yong Woo (43), Jianxing Chen (40 yrs), Jingyuan Li (47 yrs), and Jiayu Chen (46 yrs). The Justice Department alleged that the defendants worked as an organization, tasked with helping drug cartels in Mexico to launder millions of dollars through digital currency, front companies, and casinos.
Additionally, the defendants allegedly used both local and foreign bank accounts to launder these funds, including bulk cash smuggling. Most of their illicit activities were communicated amongst them, through mobile messaging applications such as WhatsApp and WeChat, according to the DOJ document. Also, a defendant named Tao Liu had tried to bribe a US DOJ official to create a passport to allow them to enter the country, in return for a payment in cryptocurrency or wire transfer.
The prize for crypto crimes
Overall, about 14 charges were filed against the defendants, some of which include attempted identity fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and so on. Per the document, they are set to face a 10-year jail term at a minimum for each person. This includes a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Cryptopolitan reported a related crypto crime case in the past, where an 18-year-old boy was arrested for smuggling drugs from dark webs by paying in Bitcoin. Yesterday, about 30 charges were unsealed against an Auckland man for his involvement in money laundering through digital currencies.