HOUSTON (KTRK) --A University of Houston-Victoria professor accused of money laundering in a mulit-million dollar synthetic drug scheme went before a judge on Tuesday.
Finance Professor Dr. Omar Al Nasser is one of 16 people accused of being involved in the elaborate operation. Six of the 16 were in court Tuesday, and they all pleaded not guilty.
The DEA told the court on Tuesday that Dr. Al Nasser obtained money in the scheme and wired it to his brother overseas to Jordan. The DEA said that was illegal and that Dr. Nasser acknowledged in text messages to he "knew what he was doing was illegal."
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The DEA also testified that Dr. Al Nasser had conversations with another suspect in the scheme; that suspect had his passport taken away by the U.S. Government. The DEA said Dr. Al Nasser worked to use his Jordanian connections to get an illegal passport made for the man.
The court proceeding was to determine bond. All six suspects pleaded not guilty. If convicted, the professor could face up to 25 years in jail.
The University of Houston issued the following statement regarding Al Nasser's arrest:
"The University of Houston-Victoria takes this matter very seriously and will fully cooperate with law enforcement on all aspects of their investigation. As more information becomes available, UHV officials will consider action appropriate to the situation."