September 30, 2022

HOUSTON – A fifth particular person has surrendered to authorities in relation to a multi-year, multi-million greenback cash laundering conspiracy, introduced Appearing U.S. Lawyer Jennifer B. Lowery.  

Michael Dean Richards, 33, Frisco, is predicted to seem for his preliminary look earlier than U.S. Justice of the Peace Decide Frances Stacy at 10 a.m. at this time. Authorities arrested Branden Denver Richards, 29, and Douglas Paul Michael Davis, 27, each residents of the Dallas-Fort Value Metroplex, final week. They’re additionally set to seem this morning. Vinh Quang Phan, 56, and Diana Le Phan, 44, each of Houston, are scheduled to seem in federal courtroom subsequent week.

A federal grand jury returned an 11-count superseding indictment Oct. 6 charging all 5 with conspiring to launder financial devices and conspiring to interact in financial transactions in criminally derived property. The Phans are moreover charged with six counts of partaking in financial transactions in criminally derived property, operation of an unlicensed cash transmitting enterprise and conspiracy to take action. Diana Le Phan has a further cost of laundering financial devices.

In keeping with the indictment, the Phans operated an unlicensed cash transmitting enterprise that transmitted funds obtained within the type of U.S. foreign money aka bulk money. At the very least a few of this cash, together with bulk money obtained from Michael and Brandon Richards and Davis, allegedly constituted proceeds from the trafficking, distribution and sale of managed substances. 

In the course of the course of the roughly 21-month conspiracy, the unlicensed cash transmitting enterprise obtained and transmitted greater than $32 million, in response to the costs.

After receiving the majority money, the indictment alleges the Phans both drove these funds throughout the nation or launched them into the banking system for transmission by way of financial institution accounts, digital foreign money accounts and the acquisition and switch of digital foreign money. To hold out the conspiracy, Vinh and Diana Phan allegedly used financial institution accounts and digital foreign money accounts of their names, within the names of three companies they registered with the state of Texas or within the names of co-conspirators. They didn’t register their cash transmitting enterprise with the Division of the Treasury, nor did the state of Texas license them to interact in cash transmission, in response to the costs.

All 5 withstand 20 years in jail if convicted of conspiracy to launder financial devices and a most of 10 years for conspiring to interact in financial transactions in criminally derived property. The Phans additionally withstand 5 years in jail if convicted of conspiring to function or working an unlicensed cash transmitting enterprise.

IRS-Prison Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration carried out the investigation with help from the Houston Police Division as a part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Process Forces (OCDETF) and South Texas Excessive Depth Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Monetary Crimes Process Drive. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, cash launderers, gangs and transnational legal organizations that threaten america through the use of a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency method that leverages the strengths of federal, state and native legislation enforcement companies towards legal networks. Further details about the OCDETF Program may be discovered on the Division of Justice’s OCDETF webpage.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephanie Bauman and Richard W. Bennett are prosecuting the circumstances.

An indictment is a proper accusation of legal conduct, not proof. A defendant is presumed harmless except convicted by way of due strategy of legislation.

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