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Flight Attendants arrested at MIA for Money Laundering

Flight Attendants arrested at MIA for Money Laundering

Old Oct 23, 19, 11:02 am
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Flight Attendants arrested at MIA for Money Laundering

Per the link below:

Four flight attendants were arrested at Miami International Airport on money laundering and other charges after authorities found them carrying thousands of dollars in cash during a routine Customs check.

https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/...563644711.html
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Old Oct 23, 19, 11:12 am
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interesting as they were all under the actual 10k threshold. . but obviously they were laundering for somebody. . . .
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Old Oct 23, 19, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by anthem View Post
interesting as they were all under the actual 10k threshold. . but obviously they were laundering for somebody. . . .
That’s almost a guarantee it’s money laundering, because organized launderers will send many mules with “safely under $10,000” amounts to circumvent the law. The mule thinks they’re safe and stands to make a hefty commission.

The first FA lied and declared $100, committing a Title18 U.S.C. § 1001 violation punishable by up to 5 years in prison, then admitting it was really $9,000. @:-) That raised CBP’s interest, and they netted the rest. I’m curious why NBC omitted the flight’s origin? Ah, it was SCL! (CNN - link)

Three American Airlines flight attendants were found with $22,671 in cash when they went through a routine Customs check at Miami International Airport, Customs and Border Protection agents say.

CBP agents say those three fingered a fourth American Airlines flight attendant as the on-site director of the operation.

None of the four declared the cash, according to arrest reports. So, Carlos Alberto Munoz-Moyano, 40; Miaria Delpilar Roman-Strick, 55; Maria Isabel Wilson-Ossandon, 48; and Maria Beatriz Pasten-Cuzmar, 55, each faces charges of money laundering and unauthorized money transmitting between $300 and $20,000.

Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/loc...236533813.html
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Last edited by JDiver; Oct 23, 19 at 11:27 am
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Old Oct 23, 19, 11:25 am
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I would think that there must have been a tip from somewhere. I can't see CBP stopping FAs and questioning them about the cash amount they've declared. Someone's been watching these FAs for awhile.
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Old Oct 23, 19, 11:30 am
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
I would think that there must have been a tip from somewhere. I can't see CBP stopping FAs and questioning them about the cash amount they've declared. Someone's been watching these FAs for awhile.
They’ll do spot checks (perhaps more frequently on South America based FAs?), but a tip is quite possible if not likely.
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Old Oct 23, 19, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
I would think that there must have been a tip from somewhere. I can't see CBP stopping FAs and questioning them about the cash amount they've declared. Someone's been watching these FAs for awhile.
No? On the other hand, wouldn't flight crew be fairly ideal to recruit for something like this? Especially based in South America and making regular trips to the US.

I thought it was interesting they only get a 1% cut. I suppose it all adds up over time but you'd have to haul a lot of cash to make yourself real money on the deal.
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Old Oct 23, 19, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
The first FA lied and declared $100, committing a Title18 U.S.C. § 1001 violation punishable by up to 5 years in prison, then admitting it was really $9,000. @:-) That raised CBP’s interest, and they netted the rest.
I'm - you don't have to declare cash under $10,000, so why did they declare $100 in the first place?
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Old Oct 23, 19, 12:27 pm
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If I'm not mistaken, which quite often I am, that route uses an SCL-based crew. The implications for those folks working flights for any airline to the US post-AA-life may be long-lasting.
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Old Oct 23, 19, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
I'm - you don't have to declare cash under $10,000, so why did they declare $100 in the first place?
Because they were asked.
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Old Oct 23, 19, 12:32 pm
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Originally Posted by SeeBuyFly View Post
Because they were asked.

Doesn’t mean a answer is required
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Old Oct 23, 19, 12:33 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
I'm - you don't have to declare cash under $10,000, so why did they declare $100 in the first place?
Good question. I wonder what would have happened if they had simply responded "less than $10,000" when asked.
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Old Oct 23, 19, 12:36 pm
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Originally Posted by teemuflyer View Post
Good question. I wonder what would have happened if they had simply responded "less than $10,000" when asked.
haha I've said that before, they'll just ask how much. . I responded with the more exact 1500 the next time. I get the idea that while you dont have to declare it, when they ask - they feel they have the right to know how much before making the decision to check you or not.
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Old Oct 23, 19, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by deadinabsentia View Post
Doesn’t mean a answer is required
If the FA refused to declare, that would make a search more likely, which is not something a mule would want. Usually people are asked and then waved through--I am sure that has happened to all of us. In other words, the FA gambled and lost.

If the FA had known in advance that the search was going to happen anyway, then the right thing to do would have been to not make a false declaration. But that's a big if/then.

[Surely all this is obvious?]
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Last edited by SeeBuyFly; Oct 23, 19 at 1:25 pm
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Old Oct 23, 19, 1:31 pm
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Originally Posted by anthem View Post
interesting as they were all under the actual 10k threshold. . but obviously they were laundering for somebody. . . .
CBP considered them to be in on the same conspiracy and thus the same group. Structuring by smurfing the amounts across multiple people to try to get around the cash declaration triggers is prosecutable.
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Old Oct 23, 19, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by SeeBuyFly View Post
If the FA refused to declare, that would make a search more likely, which is not something a mule would want. Usually people are asked and then waved through--I am sure that has happened to all of us. In other words, the FA gambled and lost.

If the FA had known in advance that the search was going to happen anyway, then the right thing to do would have been to not make a false declaration. But that's a big if/then.

[Surely all this is obvious?]
I'd say it's obvious, but I also would think it's obvious not to risk prison for $90 (the 1% fee they would earn)
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