Local & Regional
9:17 am
Sat December 17, 2011

Car Lot Raided

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa car lot named in DEA money laundering suit

TULSA, Okla. (AP) A Tulsa auto business is among companies named in a federal lawsuit that accuses 30 U.S. car buyers of being in league with a money laundering operation for the Lebanese Hezbollah. Federal authorities say the operation pumped up to $300 million into the financial system to benefit the Shi'a militant group.

A Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman said Friday that Ace Auto Leasing Incorporated was among companies whose businesses were used to help launder drug money.

Authorities say companies would send cars to west Africa to be sold at a profit, with some money going back to the businesses to buy more cars to ship. DEA spokesman Rusty Payne says profits from drug trafficking were laundered into the operation as well, helping fund the militant group.

A phone number for Ace Auto Leasing rang unanswered Friday.