$4.6M seized from indicted Kenner store owners

$4.6M seized from indicted Kenner store owners
The largest financial institution headquartered in Louisiana says it's closing or consolidating 22 branch locations this year. (FOX 8)

KENNER, La. (AP) - Kenner business owners Susantha Wijetunge and Manula Wijetunge have been indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, tax fraud and other counts.

The defendants own VJ Discount convenience store and check-cashing business.

NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/1BU098W ) the indictment came down this past week. The government says it seized $3.6 million from VJ Discount Inc.'s accounts at two banks along with $1 million cash from the store.

Their attorney declined to comment on the details of the charges.

The government alleges the couple laundered almost $340,000 by cashing dozens of fraudulently obtained refund checks provided by foreign nationals who live in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes. The customers, identified by their initials, obtained the checks "using false or stolen means of identification," according to the indictment.

Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.