Local Lawyer Admits to Money Laundering, Conspiracy

A local attorney admitted Tuesday that he took part in an unlicensed money transmitting business that illegally conducted nearly $12 million worth of international financial transactions in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act.

In his plea agreement, attorney Richard Medina admitted that he was involved in the operation of a commercial enterprise that collected cash from clients in the United States and transferred the money to points around the world without registering the business with the Secretary of the Treasury, as required by law.

Medina, 39, also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge. His sentencing is set for Dec. 7.

According to court documents, Medina and co-conspirators Omar Trevino Caro Del Castillo and Francisco Cuevas obtained commissions for their services, extracting a fee from the millions of dollars transmitted abroad.

Caro Del Castillo and Cuevas previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Medina illegally utilized his law firm’s “Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts” for receipt, transport and transmission of cash to international destinations, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Civil attorneys routinely receive client funds, known as “trust money,” to be held in trust for future use, including IOLTA accounts.

According to federal prosecutors, Medina acknowledged in his plea agreement that he “knew or had reason to know that the cash transactions described were proceeds of unlawful activity, or were intended to promote unlawful activity.”

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