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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 20, 2015

Two Colombian Citizens Sentenced for Their Participation in an International Money Laundering Conspiracy

Two Colombian citizens were sentenced for their participation in an international money laundering conspiracy. Leonardo Forero Ramirez, 59, was sentenced to 37 months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release. Ubaner Alberto Acevedo Espinosa, 32, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release.

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.

The defendants each previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to court documents, both Acevedo and Forero were Colombian citizens residing in Bogota.  During 2008 and 2009, Acevedo handled customer accounts at a stock brokerage firm that offered accounts which could be used by customers to receive deposits, wire transfers, and other credit or money, and to disburse the funds through wire transfers and cash or other withdrawals. The stock brokerage firm was authorized to receive funds in U.S. dollars, provided that they were properly documented and justified as being for legitimate business transactions.  Forero was one of Acevedo's customers.

During the course of his participation in this scheme, Forero received approximately $1.2 million from IRS undercover accounts which he passed on to the people designated to receive it. Acevedo was involved in the transfer of approximately $335,000 from IRS undercover accounts in the United States to the stock brokerage firm in Colombia, and the conversion of the dollars into pesos and the subsequent withdrawal of the monies by Forero.  Both Acevedo and Forero knew that the money was derived from criminal activity.

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

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 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 www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated February 4, 2016