Instagram influencer’s posts flexing wealth lead to arrests in money laundering scandal

Daily Mail/YouTube

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After flexing her wealth on Instagram with flashy cars and expensive designer purchases, 26-year-old Instagram influencer Jenny Ambuila was arrested Friday along with her parents for allegedly laundering millions in a vast Colombian smuggling operation.

Authorities began investigating the Colombian-born influencer after she flaunted a $300,000 Lamborghini on her account, the Daily Mail reports. It was only the latest in a series of pricey purchases. Posts illustrating her luxurious Miami lifestyle showed her sporting Chanel bags, Valentino shoes, and Hermes belts.

According to the Daily Mail, the self-described “venture capitalist” boasted 10,000 followers before making her account private. That hasn’t stopped copycat accounts from reposting the very images that got her in trouble with the law.

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Investigators allegedly traced some of her wealth back to her father, Omar Ambuila, a seaport inspector reporting an income of about $3,000 per month in Colombia. Prosecutors said he and her mother, Elba Chara, accrued millions in bribes for letting unchecked goods pass through the port of Buenaventura where he worked. Overseas payments alone allegedly accounted for $600,000 in pocketed funds since 2012.

The money helped pay for Jenny Ambuila’s college education at the University of Miami, prosecutors argued, along with several of the extravagant purchases she showed off on social media. The influencer told authorities she earned her fortune through an ice cream shop and a foreign exchange trading service, the Daily Mail reports.

Officials arrested Ambuila last week while she vacationed in her native Colombia, and she currently remains on house arrest. Both she and her parents are charged with money laundering, though her parents face additional counts of aiding smugglers and corruption.

Ironically, the caption for the 2017 Lambo post that started the whole affair said, “People assume that because they can’t make it you can’t make it either. Prove them wrong.”

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H/T the Daily Mail

Alyse Stanley

Alyse Stanley

Alyse Stanley is a video game and culture reporter based in Virginia with words at Polygon and USGamer. When she’s not writing about memes, she edits Unwinnable’s monthly magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @pithyalyse.