Gary James Lundgren, the Alaskan native, and Panama resident, whose US licenses to sell securities were revoked for life by FINRA, has a curious way of paying his staff, vendors, and others whom he transacts business with. He pays them in a special kind of cash that ordinarily never sees the light of day: drug profits, smuggled in from Colombia.
Here's how we know what Lundgren is using. A decade ago, he was one of the money launderers for David Murcia Guzmán, the pyramid/Ponzi schemer who used his "legitimate" business as a cover for the laundering of narco-cash. Murcia shipped the drug dollars into Panama, at night, covertly on fast speedboats, in large duffel bags, and plastic garbage bags. This bulk cash smuggling was conducted for several months.
While en route, sometimes the cash would be sprayed with Pacific Ocean saltwater. When it came in Lundgren's hands, he often had damp money to clean. it now appears that he retained physical custody of a large portion of the cash entrusted to him, when Murcia was arrested, and summarily deported to, first Colombia, and then the United States, to face multiple charges related to his Ponzi scheme.
If you have ever gotten your wallet wet while on the high seas, the cash, after it dries, tends to retain a unique, somewhat rotten, odor. This week, one of Lundgren's tradesmen noticed the exact smell on cash that was given to him, by Gary Lundgren, as payment for services rendered. Gary reportedly also pays his staff, vendors, and other payees, the same way.
We wonder exactly how many millions of dollars, in Murcia drug cash, Gary Lundgren stole, and still has on hand. Remember, David Murcia moved as much as $3bn into Panama, and most of it has never been accounted for. Just how much of this remains in Gary Lundgren's hands is, I am sure, a question that several American law enforcement agencies would like to know, as well as the location of the storage facility where it resides.