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Jorge Hank's wealthy nephew heads for White House dinner

Tijuana billionaire's relative an AMLO invite

The invited guest's uncle, Jorge Hank Rhon, proprietor of Tijuana's Caliente track and the city's erstwhile mayor. (Photo from May, 1990 Reader story, courtesy of Zeta.)
The invited guest's uncle, Jorge Hank Rhon, proprietor of Tijuana's Caliente track and the city's erstwhile mayor. (Photo from May, 1990 Reader story, courtesy of Zeta.)

He's said to be a friend of Mexico's president and one of the richest men in the country. He's the nephew of an ex-Tijuana mayor accused by many of being responsible for the killing of a journalist and having ties to the drug world.

Carlos Hank Gonzalez, said to be headed for a June 8 White House dinner commemorating the visit of current Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is the 48-year-old son of Carlos Hank Rhon, a key figure in the 1996 money laundering caseof Raul Salinas de Gortari, brother of Carlos Salinas de Gortari. The latter was Mexico's president from 1988 to 1994.

Carlos Hank Gonzalez, friend of Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is headed for a June 8 White House dinner.

In June 2001, Carlos Hank Rhon agreed to pay a $40 million fine to the Federal Reserve for concealing his acquisition of a controlling stake in Laredo National Bancshares through an offshore holding company, per the New York Times.

Though he agreed to resign as chairman of Laredo, he was allowed to keep his family's sizable interest in the U.S. financial institution.

But Carlos Hank Gonzalez, tomorrow's White House guest, has more than just a famous father.

His uncle is none other than Jorge Hank Rhon, proprietor of Tijuana's Caliente track and the city's erstwhile mayor, as well as a longtime target of U.S. drug, crime, and money laundering investigations.

In August 1989, Victoriano Medina Moreno, an ex-Caliente security guard, was convicted of the murder of journalist Hector Felix Miranda, widely known as 'El Gato" – and a fierce critic of Jorge Hank.

Two other employees of the Baja billionaire were also fingered in the slaying, responsibility for which Jorge Hank has long denied.

The leaked findings of a massive federal investigation of the Hank family – known as Operation White Tiger after Jorge Hank’s 1991 attempt to smuggle a white tiger into Mexico from the Coronado Cays in United States through the Tijuana border crossing – were ultimately disavowed by Janet Reno, President Bill Clinton's attorney general.

"After the report was leaked, the family began a counter-attack," writes investigative reporter Lowell Bergman on the PBS program Frontline's website.

'They hired high profile lawyers such as former New Hampshire Senator Warren Rudman and began lobbying the U.S. government to disavow the document. Attorney General Janet Reno eventually wrote the family a letter saying the report had been improperly leaked and that she could not endorse its conclusions because it had not been properly vetted.

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The invited guest's uncle, Jorge Hank Rhon, proprietor of Tijuana's Caliente track and the city's erstwhile mayor. (Photo from May, 1990 Reader story, courtesy of Zeta.)
The invited guest's uncle, Jorge Hank Rhon, proprietor of Tijuana's Caliente track and the city's erstwhile mayor. (Photo from May, 1990 Reader story, courtesy of Zeta.)

He's said to be a friend of Mexico's president and one of the richest men in the country. He's the nephew of an ex-Tijuana mayor accused by many of being responsible for the killing of a journalist and having ties to the drug world.

Carlos Hank Gonzalez, said to be headed for a June 8 White House dinner commemorating the visit of current Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is the 48-year-old son of Carlos Hank Rhon, a key figure in the 1996 money laundering caseof Raul Salinas de Gortari, brother of Carlos Salinas de Gortari. The latter was Mexico's president from 1988 to 1994.

Carlos Hank Gonzalez, friend of Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is headed for a June 8 White House dinner.

In June 2001, Carlos Hank Rhon agreed to pay a $40 million fine to the Federal Reserve for concealing his acquisition of a controlling stake in Laredo National Bancshares through an offshore holding company, per the New York Times.

Though he agreed to resign as chairman of Laredo, he was allowed to keep his family's sizable interest in the U.S. financial institution.

But Carlos Hank Gonzalez, tomorrow's White House guest, has more than just a famous father.

His uncle is none other than Jorge Hank Rhon, proprietor of Tijuana's Caliente track and the city's erstwhile mayor, as well as a longtime target of U.S. drug, crime, and money laundering investigations.

In August 1989, Victoriano Medina Moreno, an ex-Caliente security guard, was convicted of the murder of journalist Hector Felix Miranda, widely known as 'El Gato" – and a fierce critic of Jorge Hank.

Two other employees of the Baja billionaire were also fingered in the slaying, responsibility for which Jorge Hank has long denied.

The leaked findings of a massive federal investigation of the Hank family – known as Operation White Tiger after Jorge Hank’s 1991 attempt to smuggle a white tiger into Mexico from the Coronado Cays in United States through the Tijuana border crossing – were ultimately disavowed by Janet Reno, President Bill Clinton's attorney general.

"After the report was leaked, the family began a counter-attack," writes investigative reporter Lowell Bergman on the PBS program Frontline's website.

'They hired high profile lawyers such as former New Hampshire Senator Warren Rudman and began lobbying the U.S. government to disavow the document. Attorney General Janet Reno eventually wrote the family a letter saying the report had been improperly leaked and that she could not endorse its conclusions because it had not been properly vetted.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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