Unlicensed Money Transmitters Charged with Money Laundering
SAN DIEGO—San Diego-based business attorney Richard Medina Jr. and alleged co-conspirator Omar Trevino Caro Del Castillo appeared in federal court today to face allegations that they laundered almost $12 million via international financial transactions in an attempt to promote their unlicensed money transmitting business.
According to an indictment unsealed this afternoon, the defendants are charged with operating as a commercial enterprise, willing and able to transfer cash on behalf of third parties without registering with the Secretary of the Treasury, as required by Title 31, United States Code, Section 5330. In turn, the defendants’ customers availed themselves of the defendants’ ability to collect cash anywhere throughout the United States, and transmit it anywhere in the world. According to the indictment, the defendants obtained commissions for their services, extracting a fee from the millions of dollars transmitted abroad.
The indictment alleges that in an effort to mask the transmission of currency, Medina opened several “Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts,” known as IOLTA accounts, at national financial institutions. Other co-conspirators picked up cash at various locations throughout the United States and deposited the cash into one of Medina’s IOLTA Accounts.
By depositing the money into the IOLTA Accounts, the defendants, along with their clients abroad, intended to avoid financial institutions from filing accurate Department of Treasury FinCEN Form 104, Currency Transaction Reports. Financial Institutions must file Currency Transactions Reports for all currency transactions exceeding $10,000 during any one banking day. The defendants sent their clients’ funds internationally through an informal and unlicensed transfer network, in furtherance of the conspiracy to promote the operation of the unlicensed money transmitting business.
The criminal case is assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez.
During today’s hearing, the government asked that Caro Del Castillo be held without bond based on risk of flight, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard G. Skomal agreed; Medina was ordered released on $200,000 bond.
|DEFENDANT||Case Number: 14cr2936|
|Richard Medina, Jr.||Age: 38|
|Omar Trevino Caro Del Castillo||Age: 37|
Money Laundering Conspiracy—Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1956(h) Maximum penalty: 20 years’ imprisonment, $500,000 fine, and forfeiture
Operating an Unlicensed Money Transmitting Business—Title 18 U.S.C., Section 1960 Maximum penalty: Five years’ imprisonment, $250,000 fine, and forfeiture
Conspiracy—Title 18, U.S.C., Section 371 Maximum penalty: Five years’ imprisonment
Money Laundering—Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1956(a)(2)(A) Maximum penalty: 20 years’ imprisonment, $500,000 fine, and forfeiture
Cause or Attempt to Cause Financial Institution to File CTR that Contains Material Omission or Misstatement of Fact—Title 31, U.S.C., Section 5324(a)(2) Maximum penalty: 10 years’ imprisonment, $500,000 fine, and forfeiture
Federal Bureau of Investigation Drug Enforcement Administration Internal Revenue Service
*Indictments and complaints are not evidence that the defendant committed the crime charged. All defendants are presumed innocent until the United States meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.