Brooklyn Federal Courthouse
Brooklyn Federal Courthouse Photo: Wikimedia

Mohamad Yassine and Hassan Rahman, citizens of Lebanon, were arraigned on Monday on money laundering charges for operating an international money laundering organization that sent funds to a bank in Brooklyn.

The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn.  

“The defendants operated a sophisticated money laundering conspiracy that  used the international banking system to move bulk cash by sending wire transfers for  criminals throughout the world,” stated Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

“This Office is committed to working with our international partners to dismantle the money laundering networks upon which drug traffickers and other criminals rely.”  

According to court filings, between approximately June 2017 and March 2018,  Yassine and Rahman participated in a sophisticated Lebanon-based money laundering  organization. Yassine led the organization, and Rahman was a member who reported directly to Yassine.

The organization collected, laundered and repatriated illicit funds, including drug proceeds, throughout Europe, the Middle East, South America, Australia, and the United States, in exchange for a percentage-based commission of the amount laundered. 

The organization used a network of workers to pick up and deliver bundles of cash, and it used  the banking system to launder money through wire transfers. Some of the funds the defendants laundered originated in Australia, were sent to Turkey, and ultimately transferred into a bank account in Brooklyn.  

“Drug traffickers rely on international money laundering organizations in order to further their criminal operations,” said Susan A. Gibson, Special Agent-in-Charge at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

“The defendants in this investigation have helped to fuel the misery felt by so many affected by illegal drug use,” Gibson said. “The men and women of DEA will continue to work with our international partners to ensure these criminals are brought to justice.” 

If convicted, the defendants face up to 40 years in prison. 

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