Man gets nearly 13 years in drugs, peso scam

September 12, 2013 5:00:06 AM PDT
A Houston man has been sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison in a $20 million money laundering and peso swap scheme linked to drug-related cash.

A federal judge in Houston on Wednesday sentenced 45-year-old Willie Whitehurst, who's the last of five defendants to plead guilty and head to prison.

Whitehurst earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business.

A 2012 indictment outlined the black market peso exchange scam going back to 2009.

Investigators say the case involves U.S. currency linked to drug sales being laundered through bank accounts of companies and then moved nationwide and also into Mexico. In exchange, pesos were transferred back to accounts owned by the group's clients.

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