A Chula Vista man was sentenced in federal court this week to 30 months in prison for laundering more than $5 million dollars through an unregistered money transmission business. 

In addition to prison time, Jose Luis Gonzalez, 50, was ordered to forfeit $5,052,037 for his unregistered money transmission business and claimed more than $19 million dollars in fraudulent tax deductions in connection with the scheme. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Gonzalez conspired with others in Southern California for the scheme.

Prosecutors say Gonzalez and his co-conspirators accepted and deposited cash throughout the United States, wire transferred the cash deposits throughout the United States, and ultimately transferred the funds to Mexico. He, along with his co-conspirators, opened approximately 11 bank accounts for “shell” corporations in Southern California. 

“Tax preparers like Gonzalez, who use their knowledge and profession to aid in the execution of money laundering schemes, will be held accountable,” stated Special Agent in Charge Tyler Hatcher of the IRS Criminal Investigation’s Los Angeles Field Office. “Today’s sentencing shows our commitment to unraveling complex financial transactions and holding professionals responsible for their role in these schemes.”

Between Oct. 1, 2018, and May 2, 2019, no less than $5,052,037 in U.S. currency, checks, and money orders were deposited into the “shell” accounts at bank branches and ATMs throughout the United States. 

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, about 95% of the funds were transferred to Mexico-based bank accounts. 

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