Money laundering has a long history as being a white-collar crime connected to various types of illegal activities such as the drug or sex trade, and any activities involving cross-border smuggling. In South Florida, we have heard many stories throughout our history of illegal drug money being laundered through legitimate businesses in the area. But what exactly does it mean to launder money? And what are the implications of a crime like money laundering?
Loyal gym goers were totally shocked early one morning in late February when DEA agents raided local Miami gym, Iron Addicts, in a steroid ring bust. The Federal agents stormed the gym and pushed aside gym goers, used sledgehammers to knock down walls in the second floor offices above the gym, and confiscated some of the gym equipment. Richard Rodriguez, part owner of Iron Addicts was arrested and charged with being the head of a $10 million international steroid production and distribution ring, run primarily out of the second story office on top of the popular Miami gym.
Bitcoin, a form of virtual currency, was recently placed under scrutiny in a case of money laundering in South Florida. The man being accused, was a web designer named Michell Espinoza, who had transmitted $1,500 worth of this virtual "money." Espinoza sold the coins to undercover detectives who mentioned wanting to use them to purchase stolen credit card numbers. Following these circumstances, Espinoza was then charged with illegal money laundering.