A very recent attempt at the very slick Black Market Peso Exchange method of laundering shows just how a company can be used to launder drug proceeds.
A local toy company called “Angel Toy Corp.” was indicted in Los Angeles on July 2, 2010 on charges of conspiracy to launder money.
Three defendants from the Angel Toy Corp. illegally structured cash deposits from the illegal sale of controlled substances. One additional subject indicted was a Colombian businessman. The two co-owners and the accountant of the Angel Toy Corp. laundered approximately 8.6 million in drug proceeds over a four year period.
The cash deposits were made on behalf of Colombian and Mexican clients after the cash was dropped off at the toy store or directly deposited into the company’s account. Whenever the cash exceeded $10,000, company employees were instructed to reduce the amounts before placing the money into the account. The cash was then wired to China to purchase Teddy bears and Topo Gigio dolls. The toys were eventually shipped to Colombia and purchased with local currency, which in turn was used to reimburse Colombian drug traffickers.
This is a picture perfect example of the BMPE. Topo Gigio dolls? That must have been the first clue that this was fishy. If you are under 40 you may have no idea of Topo Gigio, the famous mouse from the Ed Sullivan Show. (By the way, no relation to me … Ed that is, not Topo).
These guys should be arrested just for being lame and about 45 years late to the party. Ed Sullivan must be spinning in his grave! I’m sure when good ole Ed said, “We have a really big show” he didn’t realize that Topo was the kingpin dealer to all the other mice!
So the moral of this story is:
A) anything of value can be laundered and; B) methods of laundering money that you don’t think are effective, are exactly why the bad guys will use them.
Further, and more importantly, there is no truth to the rumor that someone from the Mickey Mouse Club has set up Topo Gigio to take a fall.