Baton Rouge convenience store pleads guilty to money laundering charges

Baton Rouge convenience store pleads guilty to money laundering charges

POSTED: Friday, March 15, 2013 - 12:45pm

UPDATED: Friday, March 15, 2013 - 12:49pm

Katelyn & Claire, Inc. and Alex T, Inc., both doing business as Quality Express, pled guilty before to Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments and multiple counts of Failure to File Currency Transaction Reports.

The corporations also agreed to forfeit to the United States $992,462.40, which were funds involved in the charged offenses.

Quality Express, which is located on Foster Drive in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offered check cashing, currency exchanges and money transfers.

Between March 2010 and April 2011, an undercover agent, working at the direction of the DEA and IRS, provided more than $275,000 in United States currency to agents of Quality Express to be exchanged or transferred so that it could be more easily concealed and avoid detection by law enforcement. The money was represented to be drug proceeds.

To further conceal the currency exchanges and transfers, Quality Express and its agents failed to file Currency Transaction Reports that would have reflected the receipt of United States Currency, on six separate occasions, in amounts ranging from $12,000 to $90,000. The defendants believed that the money was proceeds from drug trafficking.

United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr. stated, “This plea along with the nearly one million dollar money forfeiture here should send a clear message to any businesses, which attempt to help drug dealers and any other criminals launder the proceeds of their illegal actions, that we will not tolerate these acts in the Middle District of Louisiana.”

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