According to a recent PYMNTS report, AI-Powered Analytics Help FIs Sharpen AML Strategies, over $2 trillion in illegally obtained funds are reprocessed as legitimate in the global economy, despite the best efforts of financial institutions, new legislation passed by government agencies, and law enforcement crackdowns.
Continue reading: AI-Powered Analytics Aid Financial Institutions in Honing Their Anti-Money Laundering Strategies
While money laundering and wire fraud continue to dominate headlines, arrests are increasing, with nine cases undergoing some form of resolution in the last 48 hours as of Wednesday (March 30).
What the arrests and subsequent guilty pleas demonstrate is that money laundering is a difficult crime to break due to its unconventional limits, which span college students, public leaders, and regular employees.
In Ireland, a Student Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering
According to the Independent, Daniel Horvath, a college student in Ireland, pled guilty to money laundering on Wednesday at the Dublin District Court.
He agreed to allowing fraudsters to “store” Revenue Commissioners’ revenues in exchange for a promised payout of roughly €200 ($223). Horvath was granted the benefit of the Probation Act after a judge determined the 22-year-old lacked prior convictions.
Former Ecuadorian Comptroller General Indicted in $10 Million Money Laundering Scheme
Carlos Ramon Polit Faggioni, Ecuador’s former comptroller general, was indicted in Miami, Florida, on Tuesday (March 29) for an alleged money laundering operation aimed at promoting and concealing an illegal bribery scheme in Ecuador, according to the US Department of Justice.
According to the indictment, he accepted bribes totaling more than $10 million from Brazil’s Odebrecht construction firm in exchange for influence. Polit is charged with one crime of money laundering conspiracy, three charges of money laundering concealment, and two counts of engaging in transactions with criminally derived property.
Polit faces up to twenty years in jail on each count of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering, as well as up to ten years on each count of engaging in transactions with criminally derived property if convicted.
Former Prosecutor in Kentucky Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
On Tuesday, Michael T. Hogan, a former prosecutor in Kentucky’s Lawrence County, and his wife Joy M. Hogan pled guilty to wire fraud. Michael Hogan also pled guilty to theft from a government programme.
The DOJ alleges that the Hogans “conspired to commit wire fraud by issuing checks from a second delinquent tax account for the Lawrence County Attorney’s Office, the statements for which were sent to their personal residence.”
The pair presented Joy with “bonus” checks written by Michael and paid with delinquent tax dollars that should have been used to cover the Lawrence County Attorney’s Office’s operational expenses.
The Hogans deposited these cheques in Joy’s personal and joint accounts and used the proceeds for personal needs. They face up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud charges, as well as a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gain or loss.
A Man from Seattle Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
Ryan M. Tichy, 42, of Seattle, Washington, pled guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft and faces up to twenty years in prison for operating an identity theft laboratory inside a trailer he purchased using another person’s identity.
According to reports, the trailer held supplies, machines, computers, and printers with the purpose of fabricating counterfeit identity cards, as well as debit and credit cards. Law enforcement also discovered foils, blank material for driver’s licences, an embosser, a card punch, printers, counterfeit driver’s licences in various states of completion, and counterfeit credit cards, according to the DOJ on Tuesday.
Tichy allegedly manufactured a false driver’s licence using his photograph and the victim’s identity after obtaining the information. He then allegedly travelled around Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Nevada, making fraudulent purchases.
A Georgia Woman Pleads Guilty to Fraud involving $1.5 Million
Theresea Walker, 30, of Fairburn, Georgia, pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud and faces up to 20 years in federal prison for allegedly entering nine bogus entries into her employer’s accounts payable system, according to the DOJ. Her employer was an information technology provider to a defence contractor based in Melbourne, Florida.
Walker allegedly attempted to conceal her fraudulent activities throughout the scam by submitting numerous bogus invoices and fraudulent credit memos, resulting in a nearly $1.8 million loss to her company.
A woman from Illinois has been sentenced to 28 months in prison for wire fraud.
The Department of Justice said that Yvonna Lee, 36, of South Holland, Illinois, was sentenced to 28 months in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Additionally, she must serve one year of supervised release and pay the IRS $405,867 in reparations.
Lee and others were convicted of filing fictitious federal tax returns in exchange for a part of their clients’ unlawful refunds. Lee aided in the preparation of 146 fake tax returns, resulting in over $400,000 in IRS damages.
A Hawaii Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty to Fraud involving $1.2 Million
The Department of Justice announced Monday that Paul Henri Marie Harleman, 35, of Honolulu, Hawaii, pled guilty to six charges of wire fraud and eight counts of money laundering (March 28). He allegedly concocted two fraud schemes to defraud three of his clients by creating an LLC and transferring cash to his own account.
Harleman faces a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison on each of the wire fraud counts and a maximum sentence of ten years on each of the money laundering counts, as well as a fine of up to $250,000 on each count and a three-year term of supervised release.