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Feds Bust Money-Laundering Ring in Utah

Feds Bust Money-Laundering Ring in Utah



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Federal prosecutors in Utah are accusing 10 Utah residents of laundering U-S drug money into Colombian pesos.

An indictment unsealed today charged the defendants with depositing U-S currency in accounts at Utah and Florida banks. Peso brokers who withdrew the money using automatic-teller machines in Colombia.

Five others in Colombia also were named in the indictment.

Authorities found and arrested nine of the Utah residents, who include some Colombia nationals.

Among those charged was Juan Gilberto Lopez, a 52-year-old West Valley City pastor charged with depositing in a Salt Lake bank money from an undercover agent posing as a drug dealer.

Also charged was Ana Cecilia Toscano, a 34-year-old employee at Zions First National Bank in Salt Lake City.

Zions says it fired Toscano but wouldn't reveal her alleged role in the money-laundering scheme. The indictment says Tascano broke U-S laws but didn't detail her involvement.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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