World banking giant, HSBC, got caught with its hand in a money laundering scheme that helped drug cartels turn nearly a billion dollars in narco-cash into gold. HSBC only faced a fine for their complicity, but members of money-laundering organizations (MLO) are now facing up to twenty years.
Cartel members like Don “Walt Disney” Walt and Carlos Parra-Pedroza have allegedly laundered more than $101 million into cartel affiliated banks, according to the Daily Beast’s Michael Daly.
Things were not easy for Walt, who was reportedly in fear for his life if a drug transaction took even one extra day in processing. He complained that, “cartel kings who lack even a grammar-school education had difficulty understanding complications that arose in the MOL’s generally simple scheme: Drug proceeds were used to purchase 24K scrap gold and gold jewelry, which was Fed Ex-ed to a refinery where it was melted down. The refinery then paid the prevailing price per ounce to the supposed suppliers in Mexico.”
“The bad thing is that these guys don’t even know the word ‘school,’ only know how to shoot,” Don Walt said on the recording with a confidential informant. “The reason why I’m scared is because then they’re going to cut our balls off without it being our fault. They’re good at beating everyone up…And they’re good at saying, ‘It was you.’”
It appears that HSBC got off the hook relatively unscathed. All of its money laundering for the MLO did not land a single bank official in jail. Instead HSBC received a fine. The criminal complaint against Walt and his co-conspirators is 331 pages in length. Compare that to the 30 page complaint filed against HSBC who laundered nearly eight times as much cash as the MLOs.
Don Walt pleaded guilty and could face up to twenty years in jail.
Read more details about this scheme at the Daily Beast.
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.