News Release
January 14, 2010
Erin Mulvey
Public Information Officer
212 337-2906

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Extradition of Principal of Columbian Marketing Giant D.M.G Group

JAN 14 -- Manhattan, NY – John P. Gilbride, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Field Division (“DEA”) and PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the extradition from Colombia of WILLIAM SUÁREZ-SUÁREZ, on charges relating to his role in a conspiracy to launder millions of dollars worth of narcotics proceeds through Colombian marketing giant D.M.G. Group ("DMG"). SUÁREZ-SUÁREZ is expected to arrive later today in Miami, Florida, where he will be presented in United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. SUÁREZ-SUÁREZ will be transferred to the Southern District of New York for prosecution at a later date.

According to the Superseding Indictment previously unsealed in Manhattan federal court:

In 2003, DAVID EDUARDO HELMUT MURCIA GUZMÁN, created DMG as a vehicle for a multi-level marketing scheme, through which customers could buy pre-paid debit cards. DMG sold these prepaid credit cards to customers in Latin America, who could use them to purchase electronics and other items at retail stores operated by DMG.

WILLIAM SUÁREZ-SUÁREZ headed DMG's Colombian operations, including the attempted bribery of Colombian officials. In addition, SUÁREZ-SUÁREZ assisted MURCIA GUZMÁN and others in establishing hundreds of subsidiary and affiliated companies linked to DMG in countries including Colombia, Panama, and the United States.

SUÁREZ-SUÁREZ, and other DMG-affiliated defendants, including MURCIA GUZMÁN, SANTIAGO BARANCHUK-RUEDA, DANIEL ANGEL RUEDA, and LUIS FERNANDO CEDIEL ROZO, coordinated the pick-up and transportation of millions of dollars in narcotics proceeds in Mexico. The defendants concealed narcotics proceeds by investing them in legitimate real estate and limited liability companies in the United States. SUÁREZ-SUÁREZ and his co-defendants also laundered the narcotics proceeds through DMG and DMG's affiliated companies, using the Colombian Black Market Peso Exchange, an informal value transfer system commonly used to launder illicitly-obtained dollars in the United States, in exchange for pesos taken in for "legitimate" purchases in Colombia.

SUÁREZ-SUÁREZ, 41, MURCIA GUZMÁN, 28, BARANCHUK-RUEDA, 34, ANGEL RUEDA, 36, CEDIEL ROZO, 34, MARGARITA LEONOR PABON CASTRO, 35, and GERMAN ENRIQUE SERRANO-REYES, 45, are all charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The case is assigned to United States District Judge WILLIAM H. PAULEY III.

Mr. BHARARA praised the outstanding investigative work of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration's ("DEA") New York Drug Enforcement Task Force -- which is comprised of agents and officers of the DEA, the New York City Police Department, and the New York State Police -- and the DEA's Bogota Country Office.

Mr. BHARARA thanked the United States Marshals Service and the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement for their assistance. Mr. BHARARA also thanked the Colombian government and the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs for its ongoing assistance.

Assistant United States Attorneys BENJAMIN A. NAFTALIS, TELEMACHUS P. KASULIS, and AMY LESTER are in charge of the prosecution.

The charge and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.