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Ex-Bank Staffer Convicted of Laundering Funds

December 09, 1986|JANE APPLEGATE | Times Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES — A former assistant manager at a Bank of America branch in Santa Ana was convicted Monday on federal money-laundering charges.

Gladys Ayala, 47, who also worked as a loan officer, was accused of laundering about $250,000 in proceeds from cocaine deals in 1983 and 1984, according to the indictment. The jury reached a guilty verdict on all three money-laundering counts after two hours of deliberation. Ayala faces a maximum of 15 years' imprisonment.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Gordon A. Greenberg said Ayala, who lives in Irvine, was fired from the branch at 2001 S. Main Street a few months ago.

A spokeswoman for the branch declined to comment on details of Ayala's employment with the bank or the federal charges filed against her.

Used Informant

Greenberg said the government built its case on information provided by an "admitted con artist and dope dealer" who faced numerous state charges.

The informant, seeking to launder large amounts of cash earned from selling cocaine, was introduced to Ayala in early 1983, according to the indictment. Ayala, who opened various bank accounts at the branch for the man, advised him to keep deposits and withdrawals under $10,000 to avoid the required filing of currency transaction reports to the Internal Revenue Service. Ayala later told the man that she could introduce him to a friend who could help him launder the money for a 5% fee, the indictment said.

From May, 1983 to June, 1984, 10 deposits in excess of $10,000 were posted to the informant's bank accounts, but only three transactions were reported to the IRS, according to the indictment.

U.S. District Judge Pamela A. Rymer set a Jan. 26 sentencing date for Ayala.

"I'm flabbergasted," said William A. Dougherty, Ayala's attorney. "I can't understand it."

Dougherty said Ayala had worked 19 years for the bank and had an "absolutely spotless record."

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