Kinahan targeted in US court case alleging money laundering

Civil case taken under anti-organised crime laws

Irish gangland figure Daniel Kinahan is using a boxing company he founded to launder drug trafficking money through high-profile bouts, according to documents filed in a US court this week.

The allegations are contained in a 32-page filing submitted to the United States District Court in California in support of a civil suit against Mr Kinahan and MTK, the company he founded in 2012.

US boxing manager Moses Heredia has accused MTK of poaching his client, super-featherweight champion Joseph "Jo-Jo" Diaz, in breach of US law.

Mr Kinahan and MTK claimed to have cut ties in 2017 following the Regency Hotel shooting in which Kinahan associate David Byrne was murdered.


However, Mr Kinahan, who currently lives in Dubai, has since maintained close links with the company.

Mr Heredia alleges Mr Kinahan, who is regarded by the Garda as the head of the Kinahan organised crime group, still controls MTK, and uses it to launder money from his international drugs trafficking operations.

In his suit Mr Heredia alleges MTK has breached the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations (Rico) Act by using money derived from organised crime activity. The Rico Act was introduced by the federal government to tackle organised crime but it can also be used in civil suits.

MTK, which describes itself as the “biggest force in the business of boxing”, is attempting to break into the US market, and has recently signed eight US professional boxers as clients.

Mr Heredia cites the opinions of international police forces that Mr Kinahan operates “one of Europe’s largest drug trafficking and money laundering networks”.

It also alleges Mr Kinahan and his associates are banned from the US.

In 2018 an Irish High Court judge stated Mr Kinahan, who has no previous convictions, controlled an organisation involved in drug and weapons smuggling on a global scale.

A month earlier a Spanish police officer told a court in Marbella that Mr Kinahan had ordered the murder of gang rival Gary Hutch on the Costa del Sol in 2015.

One of MTK's biggest clients is heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Mr Kinahan acted as an negotiator for the boxer until June of this year when Mr Fury cut ties with him in the face of mounting public criticism.

Court documents

According to court documents, Mr Heredia’s company, Heredia Boxing Management (HBM), alleges it has a five-year contract to represent Mr Diaz (28) which expires in 2022.

MTK lured Mr Diaz away by offering him a $100,000 advance on his next prize purse which “essentially caused Mr Diaz to mortgage his future away”, Mr Heredia alleges.

He also alleges MTK funded a campaign against HBM in an effort to get it to release Mr Diaz as a client. This included the sending of “threatening” letters and social media posts smearing HBM.

Mr Heredia alleges nine separate cause of action, including four under the Rico Act. He has requested a jury trial and substantial damages and costs in relation to each action. The defendants have yet to file a response.

In a statement previously MTK said ties with Mr Kinahan had been cut since February 2017 after a management buy-in.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime Correspondent of The Irish Times