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Feds Say Car Lot Was|Money Laundry

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A Calexico car dealer is charged with using his business to launder tens of thousands of dollars in drug money, federal prosecutors said.

Ignacio Gonzalez, 43, an owner of Del Valle Auto Sale, faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of laundering drug money, conspiracy to structure deposits, and paperwork violations.

His wife, Lorena Gonzalez, 37, is charged with conspiring to structure currency deposits to duck reporting requirements.

There are many ways to use car dealerships to launder money. An owner may claim to sell a junker for thousands of dollars, and actually pay taxes on it, to launder the money and make it legitimate. In this case, prosecutors said, Gonzalez took a total of $43,920 in cash for two cars, and failed to report it properly. The buyer was a snitch.

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