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March 2, 2020Chicago, IL, United StatesNarcotics, Financial Crimes

Chinese national convicted of laundering drug money for traffickers in Mexico

CHICAGO — A federal jury in Chicago has convicted a Chinese national Thursday of laundering illegal narcotics proceeds on behalf of drug traffickers in Mexico.

The following agency heads announce the conviction: U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr., Northern District of Illinois; Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Chicago; and, Special Agent in Charge Kathy A. Enstrom, IRS Criminal Investigation Division Chicago.

On three occasions in 2018, Xianbing Gan schemed to have narcotics proceeds totaling about $534,206 picked up in Chicago and transferred to various bank accounts in China, in order for the money to ultimately be remitted to drug traffickers in Mexico.

Gan is a Chinese national who facilitated the money transfers while residing in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Unbeknownst to Gan, a purported money courier who picked up the drug proceeds in Chicago was actually an undercover law enforcement agent.

U.S. authorities arrested Gan in November 2018 at Los Angeles International Airport during a brief layover on a flight from Hong Kong to Mexico. He has remained in U.S. custody since then.

After a nearly two-week trial, a federal jury in Chicago convicted Gan, 49, on three counts of money laundering and one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

The jury acquitted Gan on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Each money laundering count is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, while the maximum sentence for the money transmission crime is five years. U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin set sentencing for May 21, 2020.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard M. Rothblatt and Sean J.B. Franzblau prosecuted the case for the government.