The defendant participated in a complex scheme through which "smurfs*" moved criminal proceeds, in bulk cash, in small amounts, into bank accounts in the US, including Wells Fargo. Known as "funnel" accounts, the money eventually ended up being wired to Mexico-based shell accounts, and which later passed the funds into the hands of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Figueroa admitted that he knowingly opened accounts at Wells Fargo for the funnel accounts, with the knowledge that they would be an integral part of a money laundering scheme. The defendant himself, according to the US Government, made multiple wire transfers from the funnel accounts.
Readers who wish more details should access United States vs. Figueroa et al, Case No.: 17CR-2203-WQH (SD CA).
* The Smurfs (bulk cash couriers) reportedly picked up drug profits all across the US, in private residences or public places, such as parking lots and retail stores, concealed within shoe boxes, shopping bags and duffel bags.