Three Indian-Americans were among six people convicted for their role in a two-year multi-million dollar money-laundering scheme, the US Justice Department has said.
Ravinder Reddy Gudipati, 61; Harsh Jaggi, 54 and Neeru Jaggi, 51, all from Laredo, Texas, were convicted of a money laundering conspiracy following a five-week jury trial.
Along with the Indian-American trio, Adrian Arciniega-Hernandez, 36, of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico; Adriana Alejandra Galvan-Constantini, 36 and Luis Montes-Patino, 57, both from Irving, Texas, were convicted, said Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski of the Justice Department's Criminal Division.
Harsh and Adrian were also convicted on two counts of money laundering and Neeru Jaggi was convicted on one count of money laundering. Gudipati was convicted on two counts of money laundering in addition to other counts.
Adrain, Galvan-Constantini, Montes-Patino, Gudipati, Harsh and Neeru were part of a complex money laundering scheme whereby money derived from the sale of drugs in the US was laundered through businesses in Laredo in order to return the proceeds to Mexican drug dealers.
According to evidence presented in court, from 2011 to 2013, Galvan-Constantini, Montes-Patino and other co-conspirators helped to move millions of dollars derived from the sale of drugs throughout the US to Laredo in Texas.
The US currency was moved by couriers via cars, commercial buses, commercial planes and also a private plane used 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 US currency, arrived in plastic bags, cloth bags, suitcases, backpacks and even cereal boxes, it said.
The money was then distributed among downtown Laredo, Texas perfume stores, including stores owned by Gudipati and Harsh and Neeru.