2 sentenced for laundering billions in South American gold

MIAMI — Two Florida businessmen have been sentenced in a $3.6 billion money-laundering case involving South American gold.

Federal court records show that 40-year-old Samer Barrage was sentenced to six years and eight months Friday, and 36-year-old Juan Granda received six years. They previously admitted importing illegally mined gold from Peru and other South American countries into the United States.

Court documents show the men smuggled tainted gold between January 2013 and March 2017 for NTR Metals in Miami. The company is owned by a Dallas-based parent company, Elemetal. Neither NTR nor Elemetal has been charged in the case.

Prosecutors say the two men circumvented Elemetal's anti-money-laundering compliance program by buying gold from a drug trafficker, bribing Peruvian officials and falsifying paperwork.

A third convicted trader is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.

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Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com

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