Action Targets Wife and Father-in-Law for Money Laundering Activities
WASHINGTON – The
U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated Jesus Fernandez de Luna and his
cattle sales company Compania Ganadera 5 Manantiales. Mexican national Jesus Fernandez de Luna
engages in drug trafficking activities for the violent drug cartel Los Zetas, the
recently-arrested Miguel Trevino Morales, and his brother Omar Trevino
Morales. Los Zetas leaders Miguel and
Omar Trevino Morales have used proceeds from their involvement in the narcotics
trade to purchase American quarter horses, and launder the money through Jesus
Fernandez de Luna and his cattle business.
Mexican authorities arrested Miguel Trevino Morales on July 15, 2013.
“Omar Trevino Morales’s wife and father-in-law have been
involved in money laundering activities on behalf of the notoriously violent
Los Zetas. As we work to support our
Mexican partners, we will continue to target anyone involved in these
activities, including family members of cartel bosses who provide essential
support to these violent narcotics organizations,” said Treasury’s Director of
the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Adam J. Szubin.
Today’s action, taken pursuant to the Kingpin Act, generally
prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in any transactions with these designees
and freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
Omar Trevino Morales established Compania Ganadera 5
Manantiales as a money laundering front for his wife, Carolina Fernandez
Gonzalez, and her father, Jesus Fernandez de Luna. Shareholders include Jesus Fernandez de Luna
and his wife, Esperanza Maria Gonzalez Muniz, and its principal officers,
shareholders, and original incorporators include Jesus Fernandez de Luna, his
brother, Gerardo Fernandez de Luna, and his brother-in-law, Emilio Guillermo
Jesus Fernandez de Luna is wanted in the Western District of
Texas (Austin Division) for conspiring to conceal or disguise drug proceeds for
Miguel and Omar Trevino Morales. In
September 2012, Jesus Fernandez de Luna purchased four valuable racehorses for
Miguel and Omar Trevino Morales through Compania Ganadera 5 Manantiales. The U.S. Government seized and sold these
horses at auction. Additionally, in
2001, the Western District of Texas (Del Rio Division) indicted Jesus Fernandez
de Luna, and his brother Gerardo Fernandez de Luna, along with Joaquin “Chapo”
Guzman Loera, on narcotics trafficking charges.
The President identified Los Zetas as a significant foreign
narcotics trafficker pursuant to the Kingpin Act in April 2009, and on July 24,
2011, he named Los Zetas as a significant Transnational Criminal Organization
in the Annex to Executive Order 13581 (Blocking Property of Transnational
Criminal Organizations). OFAC designated
Los Zetas leaders Miguel and Omar Trevino Morales on July 20, 2009 and March
24, 2010, respectively.
Today’s action is OFAC’s third designation targeting Los
Zetas in the last three months. In
July 2013, OFAC designated two key financial operators for Los Zetas, and in
May 2013, OFAC designated a major narcotics trafficker responsible for
smuggling multiple tons of marijuana and cocaine, monthly, from Mexico to the
U.S. for Miguel Trevino Morales and Omar Trevino Morales.
Additionally, last year OFAC designated Los Zetas front man
Francisco Colorado Cessa and his company ADT Petroservicios for laundering
millions of dollars of drug proceeds through the American quarter-horse racing
and breeding industry for Miguel and Omar Trevino Morales. The U.S. Government has seized and auctioned
hundreds of horses worth millions of dollars as part of an investigation of Los
Zetas money laundering operations. In
May 2013, Francisco Colorado Cessa was convicted of charges related to money
laundering in U.S. District Court Western District of Texas (Austin Division).
Today’s action would not be possible without the support and
cooperation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement
Administration, and the Government of Mexico.
Internationally, OFAC has designated more than 1,300
individuals and entities linked to 103 drug kingpins since June 2000. OFAC designations are part of an ongoing
effort to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics
traffickers and their organizations worldwide.
Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties
of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may
include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10
million. Other individuals face up to 10
years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for
criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.
For a chart relating to today’s actions click here.