by Toby Sells
A Memphis man was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison Wednesday for helping drug traffickers launder money through his used car dealership.
Wayne David McAlpin, Jr., 50, was the president of Budget Auto Sales. He pled guilty last year to one count of money laundering and one count of filing fraudulent tax documents with the Internal Revenue Service.
The two dealerships were frequented by known drug traffickers, according to the Department of Justice. The businesses sold multiple vehicles to them, knowing they had vehicles seized by law enforcement for transporting or concealing illegal drugs.
The trio of salesmen concealed the fact that the vehicles were being purchased with drug money by filing false tax documents. They also titled vehicles in the names of other people to try to hide the transactions from police.
“While masking themselves as legitimate businessmen, these individuals lined their pockets with excessive profits by helping drug dealers enjoy the lavish fruits of their criminal acts,” said U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III. “These guilty pleas should serve as a clear reminder to those business operators who facilitate fraud and money laundering schemes that while you think you may be flying under the radar, you are not. It’s just a matter of time before you are caught and brought to justice.”
The trio will forfeit about $12 million in bank accounts, investment accounts, and vehicles including a Bentley, an Audi, a Cadillac, and a Lexus.
This crime was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS Criminal Investigations, the Memphis Police Department, and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.