South Florida Couple Charged with Money Laundering and Smuggling in Gold Investigation
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alysa Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, Scott J. Israel, Sheriff, Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO), and Addy Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), announce the arrests of defendants Natalie Ladin, 61, and Jed Ladin, 65, both of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida. Natalie and Jed Ladin made their initial appearance in federal court on February 3, 2014 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hunt in Fort Lauderdale. A pretrial detention hearing is scheduled for both defendants on Friday, February 7, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hunt.
The criminal complaint, which was unsealed after the defendants’ arrest on January 31, 2014, charges Natalie and Jed Ladin with conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h); conspiracy to smuggle gold, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371; entry of goods by false statements, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 542; and smuggling of gold, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 545. If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
According to the complaint, Natalie Jewelry, doing business as Golden Opportunities, smuggled Guatemalan scrap gold into the United States that was significantly undervalued: from January 2012 until November 2013, two Guatemalan companies sent gold with a declared value of $6,451,90, yet during that same period Natalie Jewelry wire transferred $24,317,665 to Guatemala for those imports. Natalie Ladin and Jed Ladin were the owners of Natalie Jewelry, located in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI, BSO and FDLE. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Thakur.
A complaint is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.