L.A. Toy Company Indicted for Laundering Drug Money
It’s all fun and games til your toy purchases may be supporting international drug cartels.
An 18-month investigation of L.A.company, Woody’s Toys Inc., by Homeland Security’s ICE and the DEA’s Southern California Drug Task Force yielded video of employees receiving bricks of cash in fast food chain parking lots, among other incriminating evidence.
Homeland Security’s press release states the co-owners and three employees of Woody’s Toys have been indicted on charges of orchestrating an elaborate financial scheme to launder millions of dollars for drug trafficking organizations in Mexico and Colombia.
Two Mexico-based toy dealers are charged as well.
“Let’s not kid ourselves, legitimate teddy bear buyers don’t close the sale with stacks of cash in restaurant parking lots,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles in a statement. “The reality is, unscrupulous companies that conspire to help the cartels cover their financial tracks are contributing in no small way to the devastation wrought by the international drug trade.”
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