LAWFUEL – Law News Release Service – R. Alexander Acosta, …

LAWFUEL – Law News Release Service – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Brian J. Wimpling, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, (IRS-CI), Miami Field Office, and Mark R. Troutville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEAD), Miami Field Office, announced the sentencings of Madjied Ali Samsoedien, a/k/a “Jerry,” Nancy Karrsenhout, and Angel Soler, following their convictions for conspiring to launder drug proceeds. United States District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga sentenced the three defendants following sentencing hearings that started on September 13, 2006, and concluded with Soler’s sentencing earlier today. Samsoedien, 44, and Karrsenhout, 34, are both citizens of Suriname. Soler, 43, is a United States citizen, who resides in Miami.

Specifically, Judge Altonaga sentenced Samsoedien to a 210-month term of imprisonment, a two-year term of supervised release, and forfeiture of $1,333,000 in United States currency. Soler was sentenced to a 101-month term of imprisonment, a three-year term of supervised release, and forfeiture of $800,000 in United States currency. Karrsenhout was sentenced to an 80-month term of imprisonment, a two-year term of supervised release, and forfeiture of $560,000 in United States currency. The sentencings followed a four-week trial before Judge Altonaga that concluded on June 2, 2006.

The defendants’ convictions arose out of their involvement in a multi-year scheme to launder the proceeds of a large-scale Ecstasy trafficking scheme that involved the organized smuggling of several million Ecstasy tablets from Suriname and Holland into South Florida from the late 1990s through mid-2001. The Ecstasy trafficking scheme resulted in a series of prosecutions starting in late June 2001 in an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDEFT”) investigation known as Operation Purple Haze. In a two-year period from mid-2001 through mid-2003, Operation Purple Haze yielded over 20 convictions for Ecstasy trafficking offenses. This prosecution of Samsoedien, Karrsenhout, and Soler stemmed from a separate OCDEFT investigation known as Operation Endurance II in which Samsoedien and Soler were designated as OCDEFT Regional Priority Organization Targets.

Starting in 1998, sources of Ecstasy from Suriname began smuggling increasing amounts of Ecstasy into South Florida through couriers traveling into Miami International Airport. At trial, the evidence showed that Samsoedien, Karrsenhout, and Soler executed an intricate scheme to launder proceeds of Ecstasy tablets sold in various locations in South Florida in order to repay the sources of supply in Suriname. The evidence established that Samsoedien and Karrsenhout, who are married, used Liberty Imports, an import-export company, to launder the proceeds of Ecstasy sales. Acting at Samsoedien’s direction, Ecstasy traffickers would deliver cash drug proceeds to various individuals in Miami, including defendant Soler. Rather than smuggle the cash to Suriname, purchasers working for Liberty Imports would use the cash drug proceeds generated in Miami to purchase goods on behalf of Liberty Imports for export to Suriname and resale to Samsoedien’s and Karrsenhout’s customers in Suriname.

Samsoedien and Karrsenhout would use revenues generated by Liberty Imports through the goods purchased with drug proceeds to repay sources of supply in Suriname. They also would use these revenues to obtain additional items for resale. Between mid-2000 and mid-2002, Karrsenhout and Samsoedien wire transferred over $2 million generated by their drug-tainted business activities into an account maintained by Soler in Miami under the name A and L Export-Import. Soler would dispense the funds at Samsoedien’s and Karrsenhout’s direction. From November 2000 through June 2002, Soler issued $777,000 in checks to be cashed by a Liberty purchaser. The Liberty purchaser then would use the cash to buy more goods to export to Suriname for resale by Samsoedien and Karrsenhout. All of the checks were purposely structured in amounts of $10,000 or less, so as to prevent the generation by the banks of Currency Transaction Reports, which are reports that banks are legally required to submit to the government for transactions involving cash in excess of $10,000.

Mr. Acosta stated: “Federal law enforcement is committed to vigorously rooting out all offenders, both nationally and internationally, who infect the stream of commerce with fruits of drug trafficking. The sentences in this case illustrate that those who assist drug traffickers by laundering their proceeds will pay a steep price, both with their liberty and their property.” Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the IRS and the DEA. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Davis.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on .

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