Florida AG Charges Two Men with $8M Crypto Money Laundering Scheme

News | May 24, 2024 By:

On Wednesday, May 8, 2024, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced criminal charges against two men for operating an illegal international cryptocurrency money laundering scheme.

Attorney General Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution has charged Juan Paulo Galeano and Carlos Andrews Cardona Gomez with money laundering and operating as an unlicensed money transmitter. According to the investigation, Galeano and Gomez created fake digital consulting companies in Florida to purchase millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency. They then used multiple banks and financial institutions to transfer the funds without the required licenses.

Over $8 million was laundered through the scheme and withdrawn from ATM machines in Medellin, Colombia. Galeano claimed to be the director of a fake company called Canvas Digital Corp in Miramar, while Gomez said he led another bogus firm named Cabusa Compania Sas Corp in Medellin. However, authorities found no evidence that either company provided any real digital services.

By using shell companies and cryptocurrency exchanges such as Kraken, Binance, and FTX Crypto, the men allegedly obscured the source of the funds and layered hundreds of financial transactions. They moved money between digital wallets and bank accounts at major institutions like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citibank.

Through this complex network, the illicit funds were able to flow virtually untraced from Florida to Colombia. Galeano has been arrested by the Broward Sheriff’s Office, but Gomez remains a fugitive abroad.

Attorney General Moody commended the multi-agency cooperation that helped uncover the international scheme. She warned that criminals are increasingly using emerging technologies like cryptocurrency and blockchain to facilitate illegal money laundering. By working together, law enforcement aims to crack down on such borderless financial crimes.