Rio Rico Bank Manager Faces 30 Months In Cross-Border Money Laundering Scheme

By Michel Marizco
Published: Wednesday, September 1, 2021 - 10:36pm
Updated: Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 7:46am

Photos taken on a bodyworn camera
U.S. District Court Tucson
Photos taken on a bodyworn camera by what the U.S. said was the head of the money laundering organization show Carlos Vasquez greeting the individual at the Rio Rico bank branch.

The U.S. government argues that Carlos Vasquez deserves a 30-month sentence. In arguments filed earlier this week, prosecutors say money launderers from Mexico moved more than $10 million through the Rio Rico, Arizona bank branch he managed. 

They contend he created a no-questions-asked climate that welcomed their business. 

The United States has cracked down on money laundering near the U.S.-Mexico border for several years. In fact, banks have done away with border region branches because of those crackdowns. 

In Vasquez’s case, prosecutors have argued successfully that banks closer to the border and its ports of entry in Nogales treated money launderers with more suspicion. Vasquez, they argued, greeted their business with a handshake and a smile.

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