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Two Major Washington-Area Car Dealerships Face Forfeiture


February 1993

Two of the largest automobile dealerships in the Washington, D.C. area face forfeiture after federal and local authorities charged 19 salesmen, managers, and other employees with laundering illicit drug money (Michael York and Avis Thomas-Lester, "19 Car Salesmen Charged in Drug-Money Sting," Washington Post, 1/15/93, A1).

The January 14 raid on the Lustine and Rosenthal organizations, which are well-known to Washington-area residents, involved cash purchases or orders of 85 expensive cars. Authorities said that the two dealerships laundered about $500,000 in drug profits during the two-year investigation. The sting was the first of its kind in the Washington area, and involved District of Columbia police, and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service.