2 Maryland Men Arrested for Money Laundering in Romance Scheme
We all want someone to love us. As people get older, finding romance can be a challenge. Many elderly people are vulnerable to scams and other types of fraud and unfortunately, people take advantage of this.
Two brothers from Maryland were recently arrested after engaging in a money laundering scheme that netted them $5 million. They found 200 victims from dating websites and were able to convince them to send money for various reasons. While the romance scheme targeted the elderly, the victims ranged in age from 38 to 83.
The two men from Gaithersburg, ages 22 and 27, were arrested on November 16 on money laundering charges. They ran a scheme with people from Ghana and other countries.
Since April 2017, the men had received more than $5 million from victims in the United States and other countries. They used social media and dating websites to find their victims. They would develop an online romance with their victims and ask them to send money for travel and other purposes.
The brothers created a shell company called Ravid Enterprise LLC to hide the proceeds of their scheme. They opened 10 bank accounts at different financial institutions. They would give most of the money to their co-conspirators, keeping just 10 percent for themselves.
While there were approximately 200 victims, only eight victims were listed in the criminal complaint. Each had lost between $17,500 and $201,000 due to the men’s money laundering scheme.
If convicted, the two men face 20 years in federal prison for their money laundering scheme. Both are being detained pending trial.
What Are Romance Scams?
Dating is hard nowadays, especially in the age of COVID. Many people look for love online. However, those who have profiles on dating websites need to be wary of romance scams.
Many are unaware that they may be falling in love with a scammer. They may think nothing of their romantic interest asking them for money. By the time they realize they have been conned, they may be out tens of thousands of dollars that they will likely never see again.
Romance scammers come up with numerous lies in order to get money. They may claim they are in the military or working abroad as a doctor. They may make up excuses as to why they need money. For example, they may want their victims to pay for their travel expenses, such as airfare and visa documents. They may have medical bills or gambling debts that they want paid. They may also ask their victims to wire them money, use MoneyPak or other reloadable cards or buy them gift cards
Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Money laundering is a white collar crime that comes with many penalties. In fact, a person can face charges in federal court, which means they could get their assets seized and face many years in prison.
Protect your rights with a solid defense from a trusted advocate. Get the assistance you need from the Columbia white collar crimes attorneys at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. Fill out the online form or call (410) 774-5987 for a free consultation. We have two offices to serve you.