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U.S. Treasury targets money-laundering network with Kingpin Act

The U.S. Treasury named eight individuals and 20 entities Thursday connected to Jorge Fadlallah Cheaitelly as designated narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).

The designated individuals are presumed to provide support to Cheaitelly, the leader of a Panama-based drug-trafficking and money-laundering organization that operates around the globe.

Cheaitelly was arrested in Costa Rica in 2011 for his international money laundering activities and extradited to the United States in 2012. 

The Kingpin Act allows the Treasury Department to freeze any assets laundered in United States jurisdictions and prosecute Americans who help these drug-trafficking cartels by handling their money.

As a result of Treasury’s action, all property and interests in property in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons in which these individuals and entities have an interest have been blocked. And U.S. citizens are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

“Treasury will continue to keep a close watch on these types of deceptive activities, and we will continue to target those using shell companies for money laundering purposes.said Director of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control Adam J. Szubin.  

Treaury’s action also targets 20 entities controlled by Fadlallah Cheaitelly or his associates in Panama, Mexico, and Colombia. The entities include import-export companies, a non-profit foundation, restaurants and shell companies.  

Since June 2000, 1,500 individuals and entities have been designated under the Kingpin Act.

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Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.

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