Colombian Banker Extradited for Money Laundering
Defendant Charged a Four Percent Fee for Laundering Money He was Told Were Drug Proceeds
Jaime Alberto Giraldo Alzate will be arraigned today in federal court in Brooklyn before United States Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara on an indictment charging him with money laundering and money laundering conspiracy. Alzate allegedly laundered over $200,000 for undercover law enforcement agents in his capacity as a Foreign Commercial Business Manager at an international bank in Colombia. Alzate was extradited to the United States from Colombia on March 27, 2019.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Jonathan D. Larsen, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, New York (IRS-CI), announced the extradition.
“As alleged, the defendant corruptly abused his position as a bank employee to launder money for undercover agents he believed were narcotics traffickers,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “I commend the outstanding investigative work by IRS undercover agents that led to the arrest of the defendant, who boasted he had been laundering drug proceeds for years.”
“The alleged laundering of illegal drug profits is as important and essential to drug traffickers as the very distribution of their illegal drugs,” stated IRS-CI Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Larsen. “Without these ill-gotten gains, the traffickers cannot finance their organizations. As the role of IRS CI in narcotics investigations is to follow the money, we are highly adept at financially disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking organizations as well as identifying third parties that facilitate the laundering of these funds such as Alzate. We are proud to provide our financial expertise as we work alongside the United States Attorney’s Office to bring criminals to justice.”
In mid-2016, IRS-CI special agents received information that Alzate was laundering money for narcotics traffickers. As alleged in the indictment, undercover agent (“UC”) met with Alzate and said he wanted to launder money from the United States to Colombia. The UC explained that the people he worked for were “only interested in two things, selling their coke and money.” Alzate responded that he could receive the money via wire transfers and deposit it into two accounts at his bank – up to $130,000 per week – for a fee of four percent of the amount of money laundered. Alzate assured the UC that he had been working at the bank for 27 years and had been “doing this for years.”
Following Alzate’s instructions, in January and April 2017, the UC transferred money from a bank account in Brooklyn to an account at the International Bank. Thereafter, Alzate gave checks to other IRS-CI undercover agents, representing the amount of money laundered, less his four percent fee.
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s International Narcotics & Money Laundering Section. Assistant United States Attorney Tyler Smith is in charge of the prosecution. The Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs assisted in the extradition.
Jairo Alberto Giraldo Alzate
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-547 (ARR)