Tag Archives: money laundering

Chinese money-laundering rings in Chicago, New York cleaning Mexican drug cartel cash

They’ve used complex schemes to disguise millions in drug proceeds, making them seem to be legitimate transactions, according to law enforcement sources and court files.

A Chinese money-launderer was about to pick up Mexican drug-cartel cash in Chicago, federal authorities say, when his plans suddenly changed.

They say the suspected launderer got a call from a man he thought was a Mexican money courier who told him they needed to change their meeting place because he’d spotted a cop.

“You Asian, I’m Mexican — not a good look,” the courier said in the 2017 phone call, court records show.

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Physician and Pharmacy Help Fuel Demand for Illegal Pain Pills

He would visit the doctor during peculiar hours; between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. on a Saturday or Sunday.

Under the cover of darkness, in a strip mall in La Puente, a man calling himself “Juan” came in search of powerful pain pills and other controlled substances. He didn’t have any identification and he told the doctor he was either drunk or on drugs.

It didn’t matter. He got what he came for.

Dr. Daniel Cham, who was a licensed physician in California at the time, handed “Juan” prescriptions for hundreds of pills including Oxycodone, a powerful opioid, Xanax, a sedative, and Soma, a muscle relaxer.

“Dr. Cham was not practicing legitimate medicine. Dr. Cham was, in the eyes of the law, a drug pusher,” said Ben Barron, an Assistant United States Attorney who prosecuted Dr. Cham who was charged with narcotics trafficking, money laundering, fraud, and making a false statement to authorities.

What Dr. Cham didn’t know was that the patient who called himself “Juan,” was actually an undercover Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detective and that he was secretly filming his interactions with the physician.

During one visit, Dr. Cham asks the undercover agent, “What else do you need?” In response, the detective tells him, “How about some Soma?” Dr. Cham then asks how much he wants. “Let’s go with 3 times a day,” replies the agent.

Dr. Cham also asked the detective how he wanted the prescriptions filled out. “Is it all on one script?” asks Dr. Cham. The detective responds, “Can you make it two again like last time? Can you put the Oxy and Soma together and the Xanax on the other one?”

“Dr. Cham did no physical examination; he would tell the agent what symptoms he should claim to feel,” said Barron. “Dr. Cham demanded 300 dollars cash for a prescription for hydrocodone or vicodin.”

Barron says the doctor would sometimes ask for more money when the undercover agent asked for more powerful pain pills like oxycodone. The prosecutor says that’s typical in these cases. The more powerful the medication, the more money the physician wants in return for a prescription.

Source: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/investigations/Physician-and-Pharmacy-Help-Fuel-Demand-for-Illegal-Pain-Pills-423235214.html#ixzz4hgI92T68
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Atlanta pharmacy shut down amid ‘pill mill’ investigation

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

6:06 p.m Monday, May 1, 2017 Neighborhoods

A south Atlanta pharmacy that generated more than $5.1 million dollars from unlawful prescriptions was shut down Friday morning, according to the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency.

Special agents served emergency suspensions that stripped Rosemary E. Ofume of her pharmacist license and put the pharmacy she owned, the Medicine Center, out of business.

Ofume was found guilty on March 24 of several charges including aiding and abetting in the distribution of hydrocodone and oxycodone, controlled substance conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy regarding customers of the “pill mill” pain clinic across the street. Her husband, Donatus Iriele, was convicted of concealment of money laundering and laundering more than $10,000 of criminally derived property.

The Georgia Board of Pharmacy ordered the suspensions April 12 after it found that Ofume and Medicine Center’s continued ability to operate posed a threat to others. It is not clear whether Iriele co-owned the pharmacy, located at 1634 Jonesboro Road SE, when it was shut down last week.

Full Read – http://www.ajc.com/news/local/atlanta-pharmacy-shut-down-amid-pill-mill-investigation/DRKSK4NL4nL6d8Y82lUYEP/

Russian mafia boss still at large after FBI wiretap at Trump Tower

There, indeed, was an FBI wiretap involving Russians at Trump Tower.

But it was not placed at the behest of Barack Obama and the target was not the Trump campaign of 2016. For two years ending in 2013, the FBI had a court-approved warrant to eavesdrop on a sophisticated Russian organized crime money laundering network that operated out of unit 63A in Trump Tower.

The FBI investigation led to a federal grand jury indictment of more than 30 people, including one of the world’s most notorious Russian mafia bosses, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov. Known as the “Little Taiwanese,” Tokhtakhounov was the only target to slip away, and he remains a fugitive from American justice.

Five months after the April 2013 indictment and after Interpol issued a “red notice” for Tokhtakhounov, the fugitive appeared near Donald Trump in the VIP section of the Moscow Miss Universe pageant. Trump had sold the Russian rights for Miss Universe to a billionaire Russian shopping mall developer.

“He is a major player,” said Mike Gaeta, the FBI agent who led the 2013 FBI investigation of Tokhtakhounov and his alleged mafia money laundering and gambling ring, in a 2014 interview with ABC News. “He is prominent, he has extremely good connections in the business world as well as the criminal world, overseas, in Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, other countries.”

Gaeta, who ran the FBI’s Eurasian Organized Crime unit of the FBI’s New York office told ABC News at the time that federal agents were closely tracking Tokhtakhounov, whose Russian ring was suspected of moving more than $50 million in illegal money into the United States.

“Because of his status, we have kept tabs on is activities, and particularly as his activities truly enter New York city,” Gaeta said. “Their money was ultimately laundered from Russia, Ukraine and other locations through Cyprus banks and shell companies based in Cyprus, and then ultimately here to the United States.”

The FBI investigation did not implicate Trump. But Trump Tower was under close watch. Some of the Russian mafia figures worked out of the 63rd floor unit in the iconic skyscraper –- just three floors below Trump’s penthouse residence — running what prosecutors called an “international money laundering, sports gambling and extortion ring.”

The Trump building was home to one of the top men in the alleged ring, Vadim Trincher who pleaded guilty to racketeering and received a five-year prison term. He is due to be released in July.

“Everything was moving in and out of there,” said former FBI official Rich Frankel, now an ABC News consultant.

Read Full – http://abcnews.go.com/US/story-fbi-wiretap-russians-trump-tower/story?id=46266198

This Is What $20 Million Stuffed In A Mattress Looks Like

The idea that people “hide money under the mattress” is typically a joke. The vast majority of responsible adults choose much more responsible methods of storing their physical wealth. For example a bank, the stock market, even a safe. But surely there is still some percentage of the population that stores money in mattress-related locations. It’s probably not a ton of money. Maybe a few hundred dollars in cash for emergencies. Maybe a couple thousand dollars you made at a garage sale that you don’t want the IRS to know about. But not more than that, right? Well…

Recently, Federal Agents in Boston revealed a photo that shows the age old practice of mattress money stuffing is still very much thriving. It’s especially thriving among illegal immigrants who are running a massive telecommunications pyramid scheme!

Late last night in Westborough, Massachusetts, agents served a search warrant to a telecommunications company called TelexFree Inc. Several arrests were made and important documents/computers were seized. At the same time, using information from a cooperator, agents also searched a nondescript one bedroom apartment nearby.

The apartment was pretty normal. One bedroom, one bathroom, living room, small kitchen. Monthly rent is around $1600. So you can imagine the shock when agents searched under the queen-sized mattress and discovered a box spring stuffed with $20 million in illegal cash 🙂

Police arrested the apartment’s resident, a 28 year old Brazilian man named Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

TelexFree first made headlines back in April 2014 when agents swooped in and arrested several former executives of the telecommunications company. According to authorities, TelexFree operated a pyramid scheme that preyed upon Dominican and Brazilian immigrants. TelexFree advertised itself as a substitute to landline phone services through the sale of its VOIP program, 99TelexFREE.

But that’s not all. TelexFree also promised customers big returns on a passive income scheme involved advertising 99TelexFree. Investors paid a $50 fee on top of an additional $300 – $1400 to purchase advertising kits. Customers would then advertise the VOIP services to their friends using these kits. A participant who spent $1400 advertising these VOIP kits could supposedly earn a return of $3675.

In total, this scam helped TelexFree generate just $1.3 million worth of new VOIP revenue while collecting more than $1.1 BILLION in service fees from its participants.