HomeNewsBriefTexas Lawyer Laundered 'Millions' For Mexican Cartel
BRIEF

Texas Lawyer Laundered 'Millions' For Mexican Cartel

MONEY LAUNDERING / 29 OCT 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

A prominent Texan lawyer and philanthropist has been convicted of conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars of drug money for a Mexican cartel, in a case raising the question what role US white collar criminals play in laundering drug profits.

El Paso trade attorney Marco Antonio Delgado faces up to 20 years in jail for facilitating the laundering of up to $600 million between 2007 and 2008 for the Milenio Cartel, reported the Associated Press.

Delgado had worked as an informant for US law enforcement after he was arrested in 2007 with $1 million that he confessed was part of a "trial run" for a money laundering operation. But while working with law enforcement he continued laundering money in secret, said prosecutors, who played the court recorded phone calls between Delgado and alleged criminal associates.

Delgado, a former Carnegie Mellon University trustee and donor to the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, claimed he did not know the money he was moving was related to crime, and said law enforcement agents had lied and misrepresented facts in their testimony.

The Milenio Cartel is a regional "second tier" organization operating in Jalisco state.

InSight Crime Analysis

Tens of billions of dollars of drug money are generated in the United States every year, revenue predominantly received in cash, creating the permanent massive logistical challenge of how to process those funds. The majority of that money ultimately ends up back in Mexico.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Money Laundering

Although various Mexicans have been convicted of money laundering by US courts, prosecutions of US citizens laundering money directly on behalf of Mexican groups are very rare, with Delgado's one of the most high-profile cases ever brought. This is somewhat surprising, given the number of methods and people that must be employed to move such colossal amounts of money. Lawyers who deal in finance and trade, such as Delgado, are clearly well-placed to facilitate the crime, and it is hard to imagine his is an isolated case.

According to financial crime consultant Ken Rijock, who laundered more than $200 million for Colombian criminals while working as a lawyer in Miami during the 1980s, money laundering was rife in the legal profession during that time period, when an estimated 70 percent of drugs imported to the United States moved through the region.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 3 FEB 2017

Human rights campaigners have filed a criminal complaint against a Dutch bank accused of laundering money for drug cartels in…

MEXICO / 2 APR 2011

An investigation by British newspaper The Observer details how the Mexican-based Sinaloa Cartel laundered billions of dollars through…

CACHIROS / 9 OCT 2015

One of the Honduran elites accused by US authorities of money laundering, Yani Rosenthal, has spoken publicly to deny his…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…