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Press Release

Colombian Citizen Sentenced for his Participation in an International Money Laundering Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

A Colombian citizen was sentenced to 30 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release for his participation in an international money laundering conspiracy.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement.

Juan Carlos Medina Cardenas, 46, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h).

According to court documents, Medina was employed as a branch manager at a Colombian bank where his duties included handling customer accounts. In January 2009, Medina opened an account for co-defendant Leonardo Forero Ramirez, 59, [case number 1:13-20556] at the bank. The account could be used to receive and disburse funds through wire transfers, cash, or other withdrawals. The bank was authorized to receive funds in U.S. dollars, provided that they were properly documented and justified as being for legitimate business transactions.

Forero received approximately $1.2 million from IRS undercover accounts which he passed on to the people designated to receive it. Medina was involved in the receipt of approximately $338,000 from IRS undercover accounts in the United States to the bank in Colombia, and the conversion of the dollars into pesos and their withdrawal by Forero. Medina understood that the money transfers were falsely represented as payments for fictitious services in order to disguise their source and origin as proceeds from illegal drug trafficking.

Forero was sentenced on July 17, 2015 to 37 months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release for his participation in the scheme.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank H. Tamen.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

Updated August 19, 2016

Financial Fraud