Two brothers from La Crescenta who were sentenced in 1991 to over 500 years each for their involvement in a jewelry mart money-laundering ring filed plea agreements Wednesday, with the expected result that they will be sentenced to time served and released.
Nazareth and Vahe Andonian were found guilty in 1990 of numerous felonies in a case code-named Polar Cap, then one of the largest money-laundering investigations in U.S. history.
Federal sentencing guidelines at the time required judges to hand out prison terms according to a point system. Wednesday, such guidelines are advisory and use a combination of elements to calculate a suggested sentencing range.
The brothers, who are now in their 60s, have served over 31 years behind bars. A date has not been set for the siblings to plead guilty to money laundering and conspiracy charges before a judge in downtown Los Angeles.
During a seven-month federal court trial, jurors heard evidence that the Andonians and co-defendants, all owners or employees of downtown wholesale jewelry businesses, used their stores as fronts for the laundering of millions of dollars in Colombian cocaine proceeds under the guise of legitimate gold bullion transactions in 1987 and 1988.
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