South Florida Couple Plead Guilty to Money Laundering Involving Third-Party Payments to Mexico
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), announce that Natalie Ladin, 62, and Jed Ladin, 66, both of Lauderdale by the Sea, and their company Natalie Jewelry, doing business as Golden Opportunities, located in Hallandale Beach, each pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h). Sentencing is scheduled for October 31, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom. At sentencing, the defendants each face up to 20 years in prison.
According to court documents, the defendants committed money laundering by conducting wire transfers from Natalie Jewelry to third parties in Mexico. Operating an unlicensed money transmitter business is a specified unlawful activity for money laundering, and neither Natalie Jewelry nor any of its owners or employees had such a license from the State of Florida or the Department of the Treasury. From October 2013 through January 2014, the defendants exchanged coded text messages with two co-conspirators who would drop off bags of cash at different South Florida locations and provide the defendants with a list of people who should receive wire transfers from that money. In exchange for a commission, the defendants sent money via wire transfer to approximately 21 individuals in Mexico for a total of $2,023,950.00.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Thakur.
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.