The New, Improved Money Launderers

For most of its first five years in the public spotlight, Orexana Corp. looked like a typical fledgling company. The Miami-based precious-metals dealer was founded in 1984 and began turning a profit five years later. By 1989, it had annual revenues of more than $170 million. But in November, 1991, government prosecutors dropped a bombshell on Orexana investors: They charged that much of the company's revenues had come not from metals trading but from laundering up to $30 million a month in profits from illicit drug sales. What's more, the feds say, Chairman Jose Duvan Arboleda-Gonzalez, 47, fled to his native Colombia to escape arrest on charges of masterminding a laundering network that stretched from Providence, R.I., to Los Angeles.

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