Commerce City car dealer nets 4 year prison term for money laundering
Updated: 12/01/2015 06:14:24 PM MST
A Commerce City car dealer has been sentenced to four years in federal prison in connection with a money laundering conspiracy.
Raul Mendoza, age 51, of Denver, was sentenced Nov. 20 by U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Colorado, media release.
Mendoza laundered money through Chopeque Auto Sales, 6011 Quebec St. which he owned.
According to an indictment and plea agreement, Mendoza, from February 2008 through May 2012, conspired with others to launder drug money, according to the release.
Mendoza and others would intentionally, and unlawfully, keep business deposits under $10,000 with the intent to evade reporting requirements spelled out by law.
From February 2008 through May 2012 Mendoza’s business structured over 700 deposits totaling $4,543,714.
“Money is the fuel that drives and motivates drug dealers, and for that reason, laundering drug money is a serious federal offense,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh in the release. “During the investigation of a drug trafficking organization, it was determined that this car dealer was laundering proceeds to hide illegal conduct. Thanks to banking laws, it was one key way law enforcement was able to identify the dealership’s involvement in the unlawful activity.”