Six Convicted for Roles in Multi-Million Dollar Black Market Peso Exchange Money Laundering Scheme
LAREDO, Texas - A federal jury in Laredo has found four men and two women guilty for their roles in a two-year multi-million dollar money-laundering scheme.
U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Will R. Glaspy of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Special Agent in Charge D. Richard Goss of the IRS - Criminal Investigation (CI) made the announcement.
Adrian Arciniega-Hernandez, of Nuevo Laredo; Adriana Alejandra Galvan-Constantini and Luis Montes-Patino, both of Irving; and Ravinder Reddy Gudipati, Harsh Jaggi and Neeru Jaggi, all of Laredo, were each convicted of a money laundering conspiracy following a five-week jury trial. In addition, Harsh Jaggi and Adrian Arciniega-Hernandez were convicted of two counts of money laundering, while the jury convicted Neeru Jaggi of one count of money laundering. Gudipati was convicted of two counts of money laundering, two counts of causing a trade or business to fail to file a Form 8300 and one count of causing a trade or business to file a Form 8300 containing a material omission and misstatement of facts.
Sentencing before U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmalejo, who presided over the trial, has not yet been scheduled.
Arciniega-Hernandez, Galvan-Constantini, Montes-Patino, Gudipati, Harsh Jaggi and Neeru Jaggi were part of a complex money laundering scheme whereby money derived from the sale of drugs in the United States were laundered through businesses in Laredo in order to return these proceeds to Mexican drug dealers.
According to the evidence presented at trial, from 2011 through 2013, Galvan-Constantini, Montes-Patino and other co-conspirators helped to move millions of dollars derived from the sale of drugs throughout the United States, including New York, Kentucky, North Carolina, Illinois, Mississippi and multiple cities in Texas to Laredo. Couriers moved the currency, including Galvan-Constantini and Montes-Patino, via cars, commercial buses, commercial planes and a private plane in bulk cash amounts of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time. The money, in heat sealed packs, uneven rubber-banded money stacks or loose U.S. currency, arrived in plastic bags, cloth bags, suitcases, backpacks and even cereal boxes. The money was then distributed among downtown Laredo perfume stores, including El Reino International Inc., which Harsh and Neeru Jaggi owned, and NYSA Impex LLC, owned by Gudipati. Gudipati, Harsh Jaggi and Neeru Jaggi accepted loose bulk-cash even after being told it was “narco dinero.”
The store owners also failed to file Form 8300s which are required when a business receives more than $10,000 in cash, or they filed those forms which omitted pertinent information such as the name of the courier who brought the bulk cash.
Co-defendant Carlos Velasaquez, 55, of Laredo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money on Nov. 7, 2018, and is pending sentencing.
DEA and IRS-CI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno and Trial Attorneys Keith Liddle and Stephanie Williamson of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) are prosecuting the case, with the support and assistance of MLARS Trial Attorney Kerry Blackburn.