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Cartier Jewelry Heir Busted for Laundering Money with Crypto

Jimmy Aki
Last updated: | 2 min read
US Justice Department (DoJ) arrested the Cartier Jewelry Heir, he was charged with money laundering.

The US Justice Department (DoJ) arrested an heir to the Cartier empire on May 2, charging him with laundering proceeds of drug trafficking using Tether’s USDT stablecoin. The charges mark a rare intersection between influential people and crypto-related crime.

According to the DoJ’s indictment announcement, Maximilien de Hoop Cartier, a direct descendant of Louis Cartier, the founder of the luxury jewelry collection firm Cartier, allegedly coordinated with a Colombian drug cartel to import 100 kilos of cocaine and laundered hundreds of millions of dollars, primarily through over-the-counter (OTC) USDT trades.

Cartier Jewelry Heir Allegedly Tried to Import 100 Kilos of Cocaine


Cartier’s indictment showed that he allegedly employed shell companies, presenting them to financial institutions as legitimate software and technology businesses, and used these companies’ accounts as unlicensed money transmitters.

It was also revealed that the Cartier Jewelry heir and his Columbian accomplices allegedly managed to launder $14.5 million worth of USDT stablecoin before their arrest. He is currently awaiting sentencing at a Miami detention center and faces four counts of criminal misconduct while his accomplices are being held in Colombia.

Stablecoins like USDT can be used for money laundering due to their relative stability compared to other cryptocurrencies, making them suitable for storing and transferring funds without the price volatility of assets like Bitcoin. Additionally, the pseudonymous nature of cryptocurrency transactions can make it difficult to trace the source and destination of funds.

In light of the charges US Attorney Damian Williams commented that the DoJ is committed to combating criminal activities.

“The charges brought today demonstrate this Office’s commitment to prosecuting international drug traffickers and piercing complicated money laundering networks seeking to exploit the US financial system,” said Williams

It could be recalled that Hoop Cartier was initially arrested on February 22, 2024, in Miami, Florida, and presented before a US Magistrate Judge in the Southern Districts of Florida.

His charges included operating an unlicensed money remitter, transacting in property derived from illegal activities, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Tether Plans Anti-Laundering Measures Amid Cartier Arrest


The Cartier Jewelry heir’s indictment over his alleged involvement in money laundering using USDT comes amid Tether’s efforts to improve its monitoring of the stablecoin’s transactions. The indictment follows a UN report that tagged USDT as the crypto of choice among money launderers.

Earlier this month, Tether announced its partnership with Chainalysis to launch monitoring and analysis tools that will be able to identify wallets that may pose risks or be associated with illicit or sanctioned addresses.

The term “secondary market activity” refers to transactions processed within the broader blockchains using USDT, which extends beyond the direct purchase and sale of USDT from Tether.

Many experts believe that the collaboration with Chainalysis is a key step in Tether’s efforts to establish transparency and security in the cryptocurrency market.

The firm hopes to improve its ability to identify and mitigate risks associated with USDT transactions by leveraging Chainalysis’ expertise in blockchain intelligence.

Tether has also been proactive against illicit activities by collaborating with law enforcement bodies.

In March, Tether assisted the US DoJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in seizing $1.4 million worth of USDT from a tech support scam network, for example.