Ex-Wachovia Bank man sentenced over money laundering

23 December 2008

A former assistant vice-president at Wachovia Bank has been sentenced to three years in prison for taking part in a conspiracy to launder money linked to an "extensive" Medicare fraud, it has been reported.

Triangle Business Journal stated that Javier J Ortiz plotted with Angel Castillo Jr to open business accounts for medical companies linked to Mr Castillo in the name of straw owners.

The US attorney's office for the Southern District of Florida argued that once these accounts were in place, Mr Castillo and a number of associates submitted fraudulent claims for reimbursement to the Medicare scheme.

Checks from these claims were subsequently deposited into the accounts and Mr Ortiz used his position at Wachovia to remove computer holds on their processing. This allowed Mr Castillo's associates to withdraw the money, investigators said.

In total, authorities believe around $400,000 was laundered by the scheme.

The publication added that Mr Castillo is currently serving 19 years for his part in a $48 million Medicare fraud.

In October, Wachovia Bank agreed to a $15.1 billion merger with California's Wells Fargo bank.

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