Bronx, NY man pleads guilty to running money laundering scheme that affected New Jersey banks
A man from the Bronx, New York who played a role in a massive international money laundering conspiracy has pleaded guilty to several charges including using a stolen identity to further his role in the scheme, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced on Friday.
In fact, 51-year old Roberto Mendoza-Arias got his fake ID in July of 2018 when he obtained a phony Pennsylvania driver's license and used a different name.
Thanks to a new-fake-id, he would open bank accounts and then incorporated a business as well, all to take the money laundering scheme a step further.
Between May of 2019 and March of 2020, Mendoza and the others laundered in more than $12.3-million dollars from their nefarious activity.
Mendoza alone, took in a lot of cash from drug proceeds he got from conspirators and then turned around and laundered it, buying more than 650 cashier's checks at bank branches located across New York and in New Jersey.
He would then make the checks payable to people and companies that the leaders of this conspiracy told him to send them out to.
Following his arrest, and being charged, Mendoza-Arias has now pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of identity fraud, which could mean 15-years in prison.
The money laundering charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, Sellinger said, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the amount involved in the offense, whichever is greater.
The identify fraud charge carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan M. Peck of the Asset Recovery and Money Laundering Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Mark I. Cohen Esq. and Peter M. Frankel Esq., New York.