Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Real estate agent pleads guilty in money laundering

March 20, 2012 |  7:22 pm

A real estate agent has pleaded guilty to money laundering for helping a couple use profits from a drug operation to buy a $2-million, 4,538-square-foot home in exclusive Rancho Santa Fe.

Marco Manuel Luis, 31, of Carlsbad, faces a maximum 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for having submitted fraudulent loan documents on behalf of Joshua John Hester and Kelsey Wiedenhoefer.

Hester and Wiedenhoefer in January pleaded guilty to drug charges in connection with a marijuana growing operation at the Rancho Santa Fe home, according to court documents. The couple is set to be sentenced May 14 in San Diego federal court.

Luis has also pleaded guilty to submitting fraudulent documents to help Hester and co-defendant Jay Jansen buy a 38-acre parcel in Palomar Mountain, where marijuana could be grown. That charge also carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence and $500,000 fine.

Jansen is set to be sentenced May 14.

--Tony Perry in San Diego