‘Monsignor Meth’ and plans to launder money


News

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Curiouser and curiouser. That was the AML news this week. Case in point: A  meth-selling priest, dubbed ‘Monsignor Meth’ by some,  has asked a federal judge for a lenient sentence, according to the New York Times.

Monsignor Kevin Wallin of Waterbury, Connecticut, pleaded guilty to a drug-dealing conspiracy charge in 2013 and now awaits sentencing in federal court. A 63-year-old priest, Wallin hardly fits the drug-dealer money-launderer profile, but his public defender asserts that once Wallin had become addicted to meth, other criminal activity followed.

Wallin, who initially was seen as a rising star by his congregants, ended up dealing up to three pounds of meth a month by the time he was arrested. And so much cash was coming in that prior to his arrest he had incorporated a front business and also bought an adult video and toy store in Connecticut purportedly in order to launder the cash. According to federal investigators, he made over $300,000 in 2012 alone.

None of the news reporting provides details about whether Wallin maintained banking relationships in order to handle his proceeds, but it’s difficult to imagine how he would be able to fly under the radar of due diligence and behavioral monitoring given priestly vows of poverty and his reportedly extravagant lifestyle. Wallin was one of five people arrested in the investigation.

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