United States Flag
Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

Report Crimes: Email or Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE

Financial Crimes
01/24/2008

Former owner of Phoenix-area Western Union stores indicted in multi-million dollar money-laundering scheme linked to human and drug smuggling

PHOENIX - A Phoenix-area businessman is charged in an 80-count state criminal indictment of running a money-laundering operation that processed tens of millions of dollars in transactions to aid human and drug smuggling schemes.

Bruce Dennis Love, 50, who has homes in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, faces charges of conspiracy, participating in a criminal syndicate, money laundering, illegally conducting an enterprise and fraud following an investigation by the Arizona Financial Crimes Task Force, which includes U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal, state and local authorities.

The indictment, handed down January 22, alleges that, over a five-year period, Love controlled and directed a $56.8 million money-laundering operation in Arizona. A seizure warrant executed last week by agents on the Task Force targeted BMR Business Association and BMN Business Associates, entities that operated Western Union stores in Phoenix and Mesa between 2002 and 2006.

According to court documents, both businesses allegedly handled an extraordinarily large volume of Western Union transactions, many of them involving human smugglers and drug dealers. Court documents allege that approximately 80 to 100 percent of all Western Union transactions done by those businesses were intended to pay human smugglers for bringing illegal immigrants into the United States.

Love, who was arrested January 18, was released on a $20,000 bond and ordered to surrender his passport. He will be arraigned in Maricopa County Superior Court January 30. If convicted of all the charges, Love faces a mandatory prison term of more than 100 years.

Last month, the Task Force received an award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police for Excellence in Criminal Investigation. The award recognized the Task Force's ongoing efforts to combat illegal immigration by following the money. Task Force investigators use damming warrants to block or "dam" wire transfers of money to stem the flow of laundered criminal proceeds out of Arizona.