Mexican Man Pleads Guilty In Kansas To Laundering $4.7 Million in Drug Funds
WICHITA, KAN. – A Mexican man pleaded guilty Monday to laundering more than $4.7 million in drug funds through his bank accounts in Kansas and elsewhere, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Franz Wiebe Rempel, 44, Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Wichita to one count of money laundering. In his plea, he admitted that from 2009 through July 30, 2013, he laundered drug funds through bank accounts at the Bank of America in Wichita, as well as accounts at Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase.
In his plea, he admitted he provided his bank account numbers so that another conspirator could distribute the information to others. Rempel had an understanding with the conspirator that third parties would deposit cash into his bank accounts. The deposits would be less than $10,000 in an attempt to avoid federal currency reporting requirements. Once Rempel received the funds, he would transfer or move the money through the U.S. financial system at the other conspirator’s direction. Rempel crossed the border from his home in Mexico almost on a weekly basis in order to move funds. Ultimately, most of the money wound up in the other conspirator’s hands.
Rempel’s accounts received funds deposited from Kansas City, Kan.; Kansas City, Mo.; Oklahoma City; Des Moines; Amarillo, Texas; El Paso, Texas; Knoxville, Tenn., Nashville, Tenn., Memphis, Tenn.; Charlotte, N.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Albuquerque, N.M. Rempel did not know the identities of the people making the deposits but he knew the funds were being transferred for the purpose of paying for drugs.
Sentencing is set for Aug. 17. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $500,000. Grissom commended the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service for their work on the case.