A judge presiding over a trade-based money laundering (TBML) case in Texas delayed accepting a defendant’s guilty plea when he questioned on what charge the defendant was indicted if he was not aware that the goods he was buying and selling were part of an illegal TBML operation.

The case raises questions, not only over the culpability of participants in a money-laundering scheme if they are unaware it is illegal, but also over the use of unwitting actors in TBML operations.

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