A man from New Jersey who worked at a large financial institution has been arrested for allegedly accepting bribes as millions of dollars were laundered to Columbia.

U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger's office says 32-year-old Oscar Marcelo Nunez-Flores of North Plainfield has been charged with the following:

  • One count of money laundering conspiracy
  • One count of accepting bribes as an employee of a financial institution

Huge scheme

According to federal authorities, starting early last year, Nunez opened bank accounts in the names of shell companies with nominee owners.

Those accounts were then used to launder narcotics proceeds, including to Colombia. Nunez assisted the money laundering efforts by giving those who bribed him online access to the accounts, along with dozens of debit cards for the accounts that were later used to withdraw cash from ATMs in Colombia. Nunez received thousands of dollars in bribes for each account he opened.

In total, officials say millions of dollars were laundered to Colombia through accounts opened by Nunez since early 2022.

Dollars banknotes. American Dollars Cash Money. One Hundred Dollar Banknotes.

Potential penalties

The charge of money laundering conspiracy carries up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, or twice the amount involved in the crime.

The charge of bank bribery carries up to three decades behind bars and a $1 million fine.

Nunez-Flores appeared in Newark federal court on Tuesday and was released on a $150,000 unsecured bond.

The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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