TAMPA, Fl. (CW69 News at 10)
United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the unsealing of a 37-count indictment charging five individuals with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison per count. The indictment also notifies the defendants that the United States is seeking a money judgment of $21,567,939 and forfeiture of approximately $167,008 seized from a bank account, which represents the proceeds of the offenses.
Hector Rodriguez Mendez 44, Tampa Counts 1 through 37 Virginia Garcia Moreta 33, Tampa Counts 1 through 37 Leo Pichardo 60, Tampa Counts 1-7, 12, 16-20, 23, 25, 29, 31, and 33-35 Cleto Dominguez 38, Tampa Counts 1, 8-11, 13-15, 24, 30, 37 Samuel Rivera 42, Tampa Counts 1, 21-22, 26-28, 32
According to the indictment, the individuals used the cash proceeds of drug trafficking to purchase cashier’s checks in their individual capacities and through various businesses that they had created. These cashier’s checks were then remitted to various other individual and business accounts to receive, disguise, conceal, and distribute the drug trafficking proceeds.