San Diego

Tijuana man pleads guilty in San Diego to laundering millions in drug money

Prosecutors say around 95% of that money was then transferred to third- party bank accounts in Mexico, while the remaining 5% represented fees for Vazquez Padilla's business

A Tijuana man whom prosecutors say ran a business that laundered millions in drug proceeds was sentenced in San Diego federal court Friday to three years and four months in prison.

Jesus Vazquez Padilla, 47, led  "an illegal unlicensed money transmission business" that the U.S. Attorney's Office says deposited over $42 million in illicit funds into U.S. banks.

Prosecutors say around 95% of that money was then transferred to third- party bank accounts in Mexico, while the remaining 5% represented fees for Vazquez Padilla's business. The operation involved using 22 shell corporations and 85 corporate bank accounts in order to launder the ill-gotten funds, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Two San Diego men have also been sentenced for their roles in Vazquez Padilla's business.

Jose Gonzalez, 52, helped Vazquez Padilla open 11 shell corporations and also filed tax returns containing false deductions for most of those corporations. Gonzalez was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Juan Medina, 42, helped the business open bank accounts for the shell corporations. Medina was sentenced to just over one year in prison.

Vazquez Padilla's sister, Monica Vazquez, is another alleged co- conspirator and she remains at large, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
Contact Us