Gold trader a co-conspirator in drugs related money laundering operation

A gold trader has been named as a co-conspirator in an indictment against US Private Vaults, an anonymous safety deposit box business in Beverly Hills accused of money laundering and providing services for drug dealers.

The US attorney for Los Angeles has accused US Private Vaults of deliberately marketing itself to attract criminals by claiming to be a place customers could store valuables virtually out of sight of the tax authorities.

Customers did not need to identify themselves as the safety deposit boxes were opened by iris recognition and a hand scan.

Controversial seizure

A newly unsealed 9 March indictment alleges that US Private Vaults and its customers were laundering money and the company allowed drug dealers to store fentanyl, guns and cash.

FBI and Drug Enforcement Agency officers seized the contents of every box on 22 March after being granted a controversial warrant, which remains sealed.

The legality of the seizure has already sparked a contentious court battle, with one customer claiming that the enforcement agencies acted beyond their powers by confiscating the belongings in every secure box.

Gold connections

US Private Vaults shared its storefront with a gold trader which according to the LA Times trades under the name of Gold Business and was named as a co-conspirator.

The gold trader allegedly helped customers convert cash to gold whilst avoiding federal reporting requirements for currency transactions exceeding US$10,000, prosecutors alleged.

US Private Vaults shares a storefront with Olympic Gold and Jewellery, a boutique shop that buys, sells, consigns and provides loans on gold, silver, platinum, jewellery, loose and set diamonds, fine watches, antiques and collectibles.


Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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