California Man Indicted in Cryptocurrency Money Laundering Conspiracy

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

TYLER, Texas – A San Francisco, CA man has been indicted for federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.

John Khuu, 27, was named in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury charging him with money laundering conspiracy.  Khuu was arraigned in federal court by U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love on Oct. 6, 2022.

According to the indictment, Khuu is alleged to have conspired with others to launder the proceeds of his drug trafficking organization through cryptocurrency.  The defendant allegedly distributed counterfeit pharmaceutical pills and other controlled substances on dark web markets to customers across the United States.  Customers paid for their purchases by transferring cryptocurrency, usually Bitcoin, from their dark web market customer accounts to one of Khuu’s vendor accounts.  Khuu and his co-conspirators traded the Bitcoin for U.S. currency and laundered the proceeds through hundreds of transactions and dozens of financial accounts.

During the course of the conspiracy, Khuu and his co-conspirators allegedly laundered more than $5,350,000.00.

On May 18, 2022, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Texas returned an indictment charging Khuu with conspiracy to commit money laundering.  On August 17, 2022, a federal grand jury in the Northern District of California returned a two-count indictment charging Khuu with unlawful importation of a controlled substance. 

On August 19, 2022, agents arrested Khuu pursuant to both warrants at a residence in Garden Grove, CA.

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If convicted, Khuu faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each charge.  A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld.

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