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Beaverton, Oregon Man Sentenced to 70 Months in Prison For Money Laundering

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. – Larry Fuentes, 33, of Beaverton, Oregon, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernandez to 70 months in prison for the crime of money laundering.  He was also ordered to pay $48,243 to the government in the form of a money judgment.  Fuentes pleaded guilty to the crime of money laundering in October of last year, and the money judgment represents a portion of the approximately $120,000 that he admitted to laundering with his co-defendant and ex-girlfriend, Janelle Fuston.  Fuentes was separately prosecuted in Washington County for possession and distribution of cocaine, and his federal sentence will run concurrently to the 48-month sentence he received last summer in Washington County for those drug charges.    

Between April 2011 and April 2012, Fuentes conspired with Fuston, who was employed at the time by First Tech Federal Credit Union in Beaverton, to launder over $120,000 in Fuentes’s drug proceeds using several of Fuston’s accounts at First Tech.  Before their crime was discovered, Fuston and Fuentes spent all but approximately $11,000 of the laundered drug proceeds, enjoying the fruits of their illegal conduct in the form of vacations, tanning salons, and other luxuries. 

Once the money laundering conspiracy was discovered, Fuston was fired from her job at First Tech.  She promptly admitted to her role in the conspiracy, took responsibility for her actions, and broke off all ties with Fuentes.  She had no previous criminal history, and was sentenced in October to five years of probation and 200 hours of community service for her role in the crime.  In contrast, Fuentes is a repeat offender with a lengthy criminal history that includes prior drug-related offenses.  In addition, Fuentes repeatedly violated a judge’s order to have no contact with Fuston by sending her letters from prison urging her not to cooperate with authorities, telling her “It makes me angry how you believe [law enforcement] over the man you loved.” 

               “Drug crimes --- like many crimes --- are motivated by greed.  This sentence underscores that those who launder the proceeds of crime can and will be prosecuted,” said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall.  “Those who would use our nation’s financial institutions to legitimize their criminal proceeds will be held to account."

“The laundering of illegal drug profits is the way drug traffickers fund their illegal operations,” stated Kenneth Hines, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation’s Seattle Field Office.  “IRS Criminal Investigation will utilize all its expertise and resources to cut the flow of money that funds these drug traffickers that harm our communities.”

The investigation of this case was conducted by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Interdiction Task Force, including the Portland Police Bureau’s Drugs and Vice Division, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katie Lorenz.

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