San Diego banker pleads guilty to bank bribery

San Diego (KUSI) – A San Diego banker pleaded guilty to bank bribery in federal court Thursday after causing CitiBank to withhold several reports of suspicious transactions and failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering compliance program.

Raymundo Navarrette, 51, admitted he used his position at Citibank along with the information and knowledge he had gained from being in the finance industry to help clients engage in money schemes and avoid detection by Citibank’s AML compliance program.

According to the plea agreement, Navarrette not only failed to report Citibank customers he knew to be engaged in various suspicious and high-risk activities, but also recruited them in exchange for cash and similar compensation, such as items worth up to $1,000.

Prosecutors claim Navarrette informed clients on Citibank’s AML parameters and in some cases provided them with Citibank AML guidelines intended for internal use only.

Navarette also set up shell bank accounts for the purpose of executing large-volume cash transactions in business sectors that would not trigger Citibank’s AML reporting protocols, prosecutes said.

Navarette will be sentenced Nov. 13. 

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