• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Toy company laundered money for drug cartels?

July 2, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Investigators say a Los Angeles company that makes cuddly toys was used to launder millions in drug money. Three executives at that toy company are under arrest, suspected of laundering money for drug traffickers. The company, one of the largest toy manufacturers in L.A., allegedly sold teddy bears and dolls to help launder money for drug traffickers. The three executives were arrested Friday, charged with conspiring to launder money.

Two co-owners of the business, Meichun Cheng Huang, 57, and Ling Yu, 52, were arrested, along with chief executive officer Xiaoxin Ju, 48.

The company's website shows some of the stuffed toys the company allegedly sold for drug traffickers. They specialized in stuffed teddy bears for special occasions. Angel Toy got the cash, then allegedly laundered it.

"In an agreement with the drug-trafficking organizations would export their toys, stuffed animals in this case, to Colombia, and then they sell the toys, and then the proceeds of the sale of those toys that are sold for Colombian pesos are turned over to the drug-trafficking organizations," said Claude Arnold, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement special agent in charge.

Eyewitness News tried to talk to someone at Angel Toy Inc. to get their version of the story. No one was made available.

When employees came out to hide cars in the garage, the same response: No comment.

It's alleged that in four years, Angel Toy Inc. and its owners laundered nearly $9 million through the sale of stuffed animals.

The three executives appeared in federal court Friday afternoon. Claude Arnold said the three are not charged with narcotics trafficking.

"Any time we have enough financial investigation, especially one that involves banking, as this one did, requires the obtaining of the financial records evidence, and then the review of them," said Arnold.

A fourth person was arrested late Friday afternoon in Colombia. He'll be extradited to the United States, charged with the same conspiracy. He's alleged to have been selling the toys in Colombia.


Load Comments