Cartier heir accused of laundering drug cartel money through USDT

Prosecutors for the Southern District of New York have filed money laundering charges against a member of the Cartier family and five Colombian citizens. They suggest that the defendants used the USDT stablecoin to hide traces of the origin of funds received from drug trafficking.

According to the official version of the authorities, the participants, including a direct descendant of the famous family of jewelers Maximilian de Hoopa Cartier, were part of an international money laundering network operating in both the United States and Colombia. They used a complex scheme involving brokers and shell companies to hide the origin of the funds.
A direct descendant of the family operated an illegal off-exchange cryptocurrency trading platform starting in January 2020. A group of shell companies were used to carry out the operations, including Bullpix Solutions LLC, Vintech Capital LLC, VC Innovated Technologies LLC, AZ Technologies LLC, Softmill LLC and Sun Technologies LLC.

Maximilian de Hoop Cartier. Source: X.

Leonardo de Jesus Zualaga Duque, Erica Milena Lopez Ortiz, Alexander Areiza Ceballos and Adrian Areiza Ceballos, co-conspirators, were convicted of smuggling more than 100 kilograms of cocaine into the United States. Another defendant, Felipe Estrada Echeverri, participated in the process of laundering the proceeds. All of them face more than 20 years in prison on the combined charges.

From the beginning of January 2020 to the present, the OTC platform owned by the Cartier family has carried out a series of illegal transactions amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars and laundered funds amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars in criminal proceeds. Among these transactions, an amount of $14.5 million was recorded as being obtained from drug trafficking for the period from May to November 2023.

Maximilian de Hoope Cartier was accused of money laundering, banking fraud and running an illegal money transfer business. He was detained on February 22 in Miami.

Five Colombian citizens were taken into custody by local authorities on April 30.

The case has been sent to court for further consideration.
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