Mexican National, Pablo Hernandez Sentenced to Over 7 Years in Federal Prison for Scheming to Launder Money for Drug Trafficking Organizations
LOS ANGELES (STL.News) A Mexican national who pleaded guilty to a federal racketeering offense and admitted participating in a scheme to launder drug trafficking proceeds – which included attempting to purchase a bank to facilitate the money laundering – was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison.
Pablo Hernandez, 80, of Tijuana, was sentenced by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II after pleading guilty in November to conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
Hernandez was one of 16 defendants named in a federal grand jury indictment unsealed in 2015 that alleged a series of money laundering schemes, some of which involved the Westminster-based Saigon National Bank (now known as California International Bank). Hernandez and a second defendant, Emilio Herrera, had a series of conversations and meetings with a purported money launderer – who actually was a confidential source – which included discussions about regular cash deposits in the U.S. that would then be wired to Mexico, court documents state. During negotiations with the confidential source, Hernandez and Herrera also asked the confidential source about moving money to other countries, but they discounted a proposal to send wire transfers to Panama because associates had lost $100 million in drug money that was confiscated there.