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Category Archives: 47E Money Laundering (Federal Charge) Victories

State v. Mr. W (DMC No. 13130) – Federal Bank and Wire Fraud ($1,000,000), Felony Fraud Schemes ($450,000 Misappropriated from Wire Amount), Felony Money Laundering, Felony Sale of an Unlicensed Security and Felony RICO – Not Charged – FBI Investigated.

Mr. W had two co-defendants that were in the process of trying to raise money for a new energy company venture. They had a primary investor out of China who was to wire $1 million to a bank in Singapore to begin the investment. The idea was that Mr. W and the two co-defendants were to purchase AAA rated “paper,” which they would buy at ¢.85 and sell at ¢.92. By doing these securities transaction sales, they were attempting to raise $5 billion for the energy startup company. These types of transactions are illegal in the United States.

After the initial $1 million wire was sent out, $100,000 was immediately misappropriated by one of the co-defendants. The other co-defendant took $450,000, and the remaining $450,000 was split between all three co-defendants in order to cover past expenses.

The FBI became involved on behalf of the alleged victim, and they issued a subpoena for Mr. W to testify in a Grand Jury proceeding in the New Jersey District Court. We then became involved and began talking to the FBI agent and the Assistant U.S. Attorney General involved in the case. We were able to work with them in order to show that one of the other co-defendants should be the actual target of the investigation. We ended up providing the documents that they were seeking, and we also made Mr. W available for interviews. Mr. W was never charged with any crimes, and he has no criminal record.

State v. Mr. G (DMC No. 11956) – Felony Securities Fraud ($1,747,000), Felony Bank and Wire Fraud, Felony Fraudulent Schemes and Felony Money Laundering – Not Charged – Private Law Firm Investigated and Resolved with Civil Settlement.

Mr. G was the manager of an LLC that bought foreclosure homes and flipped them for profit. The agreement was the LLC was to pay him 10% of the net profits. He had been paid approximately $180,000 – $200,000 from the LLC over time (roughly $2,000 per house sale). In addition, he had borrowed $30,000 to $35,000 from the LLC without their permission and had used landscapers and other contractors to perform work on his personal house without permission.

The LLC had secured a $400,000 and a $600,000 loan/investment from two individuals. These people were promised a 50/50 split of all of the profits of the sales. Ultimately, these people were never paid their money and they secured a private law firm to attempt to recover their money prior to filing a civil suit or contacting the authorities. The allegations were that the LLC engaged in a Sale of Unlicensed Securities, pursuant to A.R.S. 44-1801 (26). Also, Securities Fraud was alleged under the Arizona Securities Act, per Arizona Revised Statute 33-1991. That related to the $1 million Sale of Securities (i.e., the loan/investment) that was never paid back. In addition, the victims were entitled to a recovery which included interest, cost and attorney’s fees under Arizona Revised Statute 44-2001. This brought the total amount of loss to $1,747,017.

We became involved and we began working with the civil law firm, and the attorneys who represented the two principals of the LLC. Ultimately, the case was resolved with a civil settlement in which Mr. G paid the lowest amount of the three potential co-defendants. Because Mr. G had a prior felony conviction, it was very important to keep him from being charged. If he were to have been charged and found guilty of these crimes, the mandatory minimum would have been well over 10 years in prison due to the amount of loss and his previous felony convictions.

U.S. v. Mr. S (DMC No. 14784) – Federal Money Laundering ($50,000), Federal Bank and Wire Fraud, Federal Arms Trafficking (AK/AR-47s and 50-Caliber Rifles) and Felony Drug Trafficking (Meth, Marijuana) – Not Charged Due to Cooperation Agreement – Pinal County Attorney’s Office, US Attorney’s Office and ATF Investigated.

Mr. S had a female friend who asked to deposit some money into his bank accounts. He agreed and gave her his bank account numbers. Later on, she was contacted by a Pinal County attorney and she was questioned about the deposits. She said that she “sells cars” and that she would share the money with Mr. S. This turned out to be a lie. About one week later, the bank account of Mr. S was frozen, and he received a Forfeiture letter. Approximately $50,000 was deposited into his accounts over an 8-month timeframe.

Additionally, Mr. S had a male friend who would deposit money into the female friend’s account, who would then deposit it into Mr. S’ account. Every time Mr. S then returned an amount of $5,000 to the male friend, Mr. S would receive a $100 payment. It turned out that the male friend was selling drugs and was also running guns into Mexico for various organizations.

Once we became involved, the Pinal County Attorney’s Office had also brought the U.S. Attorney’s Office into the case. An Agent with the ATF also became involved, and we were able to negotiate a cooperation deal which would keep Mr. S from being charged with any crime. The US Attorney’s Office provided a Kastigar Letter and a Proffer Agreement. During the course of cooperation, Mr. S introduced undercover agents to various characters who were selling methamphetamine and guns. Ultimately, people were arrested and Mr. S was never charged with any crimes. In addition, we were able to stop any Forfeiture proceedings regarding the house owned by Mr. S by the Pinal County Attorney’s Office. Originally, Mr. S was facing decades in prison if he were to be convicted of all charges. Ultimately, he has no criminal record whatsoever.

U.S. v. Ms. R (DMC No. 12749) – Federal Felony Money Laundering ($100,000) and Federal Felony Mortgage Fraud – Not Charged – US Postal Inspection Service Investigated; US Attorney’s Office Reviewed.

Ms. R had become friends with a lady by the name of “Elizabeth” who would borrow money from her quite often. She had met Elizabeth’s husband, a Mexican National, and she became a bit suspicious about her loans. One of these loans involved a $100,000 amount for a down payment on a house for Elizabeth. Ms. R signed a document stating that the money was not a loan, and that it was a gift. This was a knowingly false statement which could constitute Mortgage Fraud.

Several months later, the $100,000 was repaid to Ms. R. Shortly after that time, a Postal Inspector from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service contacted Ms. R about that money. Ms. R admitted that it was not a gift, and that it was repaid. The Postal Inspector informed her that she not only committed Mortgage Fraud, but most likely the repayment of the money was drug proceeds from her friend Elizabeth and her husband. This would constitute Money Laundering.

We became involved and we contacted the Postal Inspector. We then involved an Assistant U.S. Attorney in order to negotiate a “cooperation” deal in which Ms. R would be a witness. We were able to show them that she was unwittingly duped by Elizabeth and her husband. They agreed to not file charges in exchange for cooperation. Ultimately, Elizabeth’s husband was charged and convicted. No charges were ever brought against Ms. R. Initially, she was facing many years in prison due to the severity of the charges and the amount of fraud involved.

U.S. v. Mr. T (DMC No.14567) – Federal Felony Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering ($175,000), Felony Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance (5kg of Steroids/383,000 Dosage Units), Felony Conspiracy to Import a Controlled Substance, and Related Forfeiture Issues – Reduced to 1 Count Conspiracy with Intent to Distribute Steroids with Probation and 7 Months of Incarceration and  Forfeiture Amount Reduced from $175,000 to $25,000 – United States District Court, District of Arizona (Case No. CR-15-01044-002-PHX-DLR).

Investigators in Phoenix became aware of seizures of packages at the Port of Entry in San Francisco, which were destined for Phoenix and contained both anabolic steroids and synthetic male hormones. One package contained 400 tablets of counterfeit Cialis, and 200 tablets of counterfeit Viagra. Although they are not controlled substances, they are frequently used in conjunction with anabolic steroids to counter impotency.

An investigation unwound in which Mr. T and his co-defendant were seen on a weekly basis traveling to a commercial warehouse in Phoenix. They would then go to various post offices and postal stores to mail parcels to destinations outside of Arizona. The Agents confirmed that the packages contained anabolic steroids and other controlled substances. Investigators also discovered that Mr. T and the co-defendant would travel to multiple Safeway stores and Fry’s stores that advertised Western Union services. They would do multiple wire transfers for $925. Any Western Union money transfer over $999 requires identification. By keeping the number under $999, they were able to avoid detection per that requirement.

During the investigations with the Postal Inspectors, they discovered that over a three-year period Mr. T had sent wire transfers to Israel and China totaling more than $75,000. Other wire transfers were discovered and eventually an arrest warrant was issued. Mr. T was found to be holding $25,000 in cash, over 300,000 dosage units of steroids, and multiple pieces of equipment for manufacturing steroids from analog chemical components. Agents seized approximately $125,000 of Mr. T’s cash, along with a Toyota Prius.

We became involved in the case and began working with the Assistant U.S. Attorney and the investigating Agents. Mr. T demonstrated a complete acceptance of responsibility through cooperation with Agents, whereby they were provided information on sources of steroids that come in from different countries including Israel, Turkey, Moldovia, Bosnia, and China. Ultimately, the Assistant US Attorney agreed to extend an offer which included 1 year in prison.

Mr. T was ultimately charged with Felony Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, per 18 U.S.C. 1956(h); Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance – 5kg of Steroids/383,000 Dosage Units, per 21 U.S.C. 846; Felony Conspiracy to Import Controlled Substances, per 21 U.S.C. 963; and a Forfeiture Action was filed regarding $175,00 in cash and a Toyota Prius, per 18 U.S.C. 981, 21 U.S.C 853 and 881, and 28 U.S.C. 2461(c). At the time of Sentencing, we were able to present significant mitigation to the Judge and have the sentence reduced to a mere 7 months. In addition, at the Forfeiture Proceedings involving this case, the amount was reduced from $175,000 down to $25,000, thereby saving Mr. T approximately $150,000 of his money. Potentially, Mr. T could have spent well over a decade in prison if there had been no mitigation and cooperation proffered in his case.

Mr. R worked for the Swift Transportation Co. as an Information Technology (IT) Network Engineer. He subsequently formed an additional company known as PGN Solutions and began issuing false invoices to Swift Technology. He also secured credit cards from Swift Technology which allowed him to make other purchases. These purchases were disguised because he had claimed an Affiliation with Aspen Technologies (a legitimate contractor with whom Swift conducted a considerable amount of business). Unfortunately, PGN Solutions was merely a shell-company and was never affiliated with Aspen Technologies.

Ultimately, all of these purchases (combined with a tax liability) came to a total of $2,192,000. We were able to show the Prosecution that there had been no Obstruction of Justice by Mr. R., there had been an acceptance of responsibility and there was true remorse. Mr. R. had a family with young children and had also assisted the Sheriff’s Department with remote mountain rescues in the past. Ultimately, we were able to secure a deal that included restitution and 57 months in prison. If we would have gone to Trial and lost, Mr. R. would have faced potentially the rest of life in prison.

NOT CHARGED/ FEDERAL and STATE TELEMARKETING FRAUD (RICO), MONEY LAUNDERING and BANK and WIRE FRAUD ($3,000,000+) – State v. Mr. A (DMC No. 8850 & 7440) (United States Attorney and FBI Investigated): Mr. A had had run a telemarketing business in the past and was brought in to assist his son and business partner in their business ventures. He helped them set up their telemarketing room, along with scripts for sales pitches and information on how to set up bank accounts for wire transfers. He then managed his own telemarketing business selling GPS locators for cars. A massive search warrant was issued for his son and business partner, and the FBI and United States Attorney’s Office were attempting to question Mr. A and potentially implicate him in a scheme.

We were hired and reviewed all evidence against Mr. A’s son and his son’s business partner. We also spoke with FBI Agents and the US Attorney’s Office in order to show them that Mr. A had no knowledge of his son and business partners’ scheme. We ultimately convinced the US Attorney’s Office not to file charges for Wire Fraud, Bank Fraud and Money Laundering. In addition, the FBI did not turn their investigation over to State authorities in an attempt to have Arizona prosecute Mr. A. Although his son and business partner ended up serving prison time, Mr. A was never charged with any crimes. In addition, Mr. A never had to testify against his son.

NOT CHARGED | FEDERAL SECURITIES FRAUD/RICO/MONEY LAUNDERING/ BANK and WIRE FRAUD ($636,000) NOT CHARGED due to CIVIL SETTLEMENT – U.S. v. Mr. N. (DMC No. 7596) (FBI Investigated): Mr. N. owned a company which bought investments, fixed income investments, CD’s and bonds from banks and then sold them to various brokers.  Mr. N. was accused of diverting approximately $600,000 of client’s money into a separate account in order to fund a separate business.  We were able to explain to investigators that this was a “civil” issue, and not a criminal issue.  We also resolved a civil law suit filed by a large investor, by making sure that all monies were returned to proper accounts.  Mr. N. had been facing a large amount of prison time, along with the loss of his Securities licenses until we got involved.  Ultimately, all law suits were dropped, no charges were brought against Mr. N. and his licenses were left intact.

NOT CHARGED | FEDERAL RICO/MONEY LAUNDERING and PROMOTION of GAMBLING NOT CHARGED – State v. Mr. H. (DMC No. 7850) (FBI Investigated): Mr. H. was involved in a running a company that served as a filter between internet users and an offshore gaming company.  This was during the internet poker boom and internet poker gambling had not been legalized.   FBI began investigating Mr. H.’s company for assisting 30 other companies in processing payment for various internet gamblers in the U.S.  We were able to protect Mr. H.’s right, and prevented him from being charged with Federal RICO, Money Laundering and Promotion of Gambling charges.

 

DISMISSED (ALL) | FEDERAL BANK and WIRE FRAUD/MONEY LAUNDERING/CONSPIRACY/AID and ABET ALL DISMISSED – State v. Ms. V.  (DMC No. 8945) (U.S. District Court of Arizona 2:08-CR08-0598-PHX-JAT-8): Ms. V. was an escrow officer with a local title agency in Phoenix.  She submitted several preliminary HUD-1 forms and some final HUD-1 forms for a “straw buyer” who purchased 27 homes while she was the escrow agent.  Allegations were that there was a “cash back scheme” which resulted in her receiving fees of $40, 000 dollars.  Although there were multiple co-defendants, we were able to show that Ms. V. was an unwilling victim duped into assisting this scheme.  Ultimately, all charges were dismissed in full.

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