October 27, 2021

Leader of international money laundering network sentenced to 15 years in prison

On October 26, 2021, Xizhi Li, the leader of an international money laundering network, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for laundering tens of millions of dollars in drug proceeds for foreign drug trafficking organizations with the help of individuals in the US, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, China, and elsewhere, after pleading guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy on August 2, 2021.  In addition, Li received 3 years of supervised release and signed a consent order forfeiting approximately $10 million to the US pursuant to his plea.  

On October 15, 2020, the DOJ announced charges against Li and five others who were charged with conspiracy to launder funds, attempted identity fraud, drug trafficking, and bribery.  According to the superseding indictment, Li and others used a foreign casino, foreign and domestic front companies, and opened US-based bank accounts utilizing encrypted communications platforms and falsified identification documents, to obtain “contracts” with drug traffickers and earn commissions for laundering the proceeds and concealing the true source of the funds.

Department of Justice Press Release | Judgment | Superseding Indictment