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Financial Crimes

2 Florida residents indicted on charges of unlicensed money remitting

MIAMI - Two Miami-Dade County residents were arrested yesterday on charges of unlicensed money remitting following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.

According to the charging document, Luis Franco, 43, Jaime Garcia, 56, and J & M USA Trading, Inc., a freight forwarding business located in Miami, participated in a money transmitting business without the required license, transferring $2 million from abroad into the United States. The defendants are also charged with conspiring to defraud the United States and obstruct justice and with making false statements and committing perjury during the investigation.

The indictment alleges that Franco transported cash in dollars from Colombia and delivered them to J & M USA Trading, Inc. for a fee. Garcia was an officer of the company.

If convicted of all charges in the indictment, Franco faces a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in prison while Garcia faces a statutory maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment. In addition, the indictment seeks forfeiture of $119,830 seized from Franco on March 7, 2004.

This case is the result of ICE's investigative efforts to identify and dismantle international criminal networks using the black market peso exchange scheme as a means of repatriating illegal proceeds through South Florida.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eric Morales.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.