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Financial Crimes

ICE agents return more than $286,000 to elderly couple in NY

MOBILE, Ala. - An elderly New York couple received $286,000 following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) into a money-laundering ring operated in the Dominican Republic.

In May of 2008, ICE agents in Mobile received information regarding the money-laundering ring that had acquired a large sum of stolen U.S. Treasury Bonds from the 1950s and 1960s. The illicit organization wanted ICE undercover agents to create a fake identity and a survivor will in order to cash the bonds. The original family members who had purchased the bonds were two siblings who had passed away.

ICE agents in Mobile, with the assistance of ICE agents in New York and the Alabama National Guard Counter Drug Program, spent several months searching leads in an attempt to locate surviving heirs. The locations of the burial sites of the original bond purchasers were discovered and agents were able to find two surviving heirs. In July of 2009, the U. S. Treasury was able to verify $286,000 of the original bonds as valid and that amount was turned over to the New York couple.

"This case is a good example of the outstanding cooperation between ICE, the Alabama National Guard and a number of state and local agencies. Because of this cooperation, two elderly citizens were able to receive an inheritance that was due them," said Michael A. Holt, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in New Orleans. "We are pleased to have been able to assist in recovering these funds that have now rightfully gone to the deserving heirs."

ICE agents work diligently to promote public safety and national security by protecting the revenue of the United States, tracing various money trails leading into and out of the United States, interdicting illicit drugs, preventing the export of U.S. military munitions/equipment and high technology items to embargoed countries, deterring illegal immigration, preventing immigration-related crimes and removing criminals who are unlawfully present in the United States.