Undercover Money Laundering Sting Hits Indicts 25 Defendants
A former vice president of a Southern California Bank was recently sentenced to two years for conspiracy to launder money along with another co-defendant. The two were arrested as part of a joint undercover investigation by the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, and SIGTARP called Operation Phantom Bank. So far, the operation has resulted in the indictment of 25 individuals. Nine of the indicted individuals have been convicted, while the remaining sixteen are pending trial.
What is Money Laundering?
Money laundering is a process of “cleaning” money that comes from illegitimate sources, often in the form of cash. The money is passed through some source—in this case, a bank, though it can also be a business or other organization—and then processed with falsified records to make it appear as though it came from a legitimate source so that it can be spent without suspicion.
Vivian Tat, the indicted bank manager, was recorded on a wire by an informant who came to her and her co-defendant with $25,500 in cash. Tat and her co-defendant took the informant into a conference room, where they acknowledged that money laundering was illegal. They then took the cash from the informant and used another bank client’s account to issue cashier’s checks to the informant. They also falsified the bank records to make the transaction appear legitimate.
White Collar Crime Defense in Southern California
White collar crime and other forms of fraud carry serious charges with severe consequences. Though many people often think that they will face a light sentence, this is not the case. Federal agencies take these crimes very seriously. If you or someone you know has been charged with fraud, they need skilled legal representation as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Brian A. Newman provides diligent, well-informed criminal defense attorney services for Southern California clients to protect their rights in court. Call our offices today at (424) 254-5186 to set up a free initial consultation.