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Alexandria man sentenced in money laundering scheme

NEW YORK -- A 46-year-old Alexandria, Minn., man was sentenced June 15 for his involvement in a money laundering scheme of more than $2 million.

Kenneth Landgaard, who pleaded guilty to the felony charge this past January, was sentenced in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, to 27 months in custody, $45,000 in forfeiture – which Landgaard paid in court – and three years of supervised release.

Landgaard conspired with two other men to launder the money, which they believed to be proceeds of a penny stock fraud scheme. The money was, however, provided to the men by an undercover law enforcement agent as part of an FBI sting operation.

The two others in the case were Michael J. Dodd, 65, of Panama City, Panama, and James Robert Shipman Jr., 64, of Hollywood, Florida.

Landgaard and Shipman were arrested in July 2015 after flying to an airport in New York on a private jet to take possession of $2.2 million in cash they agreed to launder through banks in Panama and Belize.

Dodd was arrested a few hours later at a Manhattan restaurant where he had expected to meet with a man representing himself as a middleman working with corrupt stock brokers who artificially inflated prices for worthless stock in exchange for high commissions. In exchange for a 13 to 15 percent fee, the suspects agreed to launder $2.6 million.

The middleman was actually an undercover FBI agent.

According to court documents, Dodd would set up offshore foundations in Panama for clients and coordinated transport with Landgaard on private jets, according to court documents. Dodd is a U.S. citizen living in Panama, and Landgaard owns and operates Magjets Group, an aviation company in Panama City. Shipman was a business partner of Landgaard and Dodd.

In conversations recorded by the FBI, the suspects explained in detail the measures they took to avoid detection of their money laundering scheme.

Dodd insisted that the undercover agent download and use encryption software for online chats and voice communications.

The men told the agent to pack the money into a Louis Vuitton duffel bag because they believed that law enforcement wouldn’t be able to get the authority to buy such an expensive item.

Landgaard and Shipman also insisted that the undercover agent buy a throwaway or “burner” phone on which to speak to them about the scheme.

Agencies involved in the case included the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations.