The U.S. Secret Service noted over three dozen individuals have been sentenced for involvement in an Atlanta, Ga.-based fraud and money laundering operation targeting individuals and entities nationwide.
The defendants used business email compromise schemes, romance fraud scams and retirement account scams, among other frauds, to steal over $30 million from numerous victims.
“The Department of Justice has tirelessly worked for more than four years to obtain justice for dozens of victims impacted by this brazen criminal organization,” U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan said. “The defendants’ sentences should serve as a stark warning to others that fraud and money laundering crimes are top priorities for this office and our federal, state and local law enforcement partners.”
According to Buchanan, the charges, and other information presented in court, the defendants engaged in multiple fraud and money laundering conspiracies that stole millions of dollars from victims located throughout the United States and abroad. The defendants were charged across several related pending cases.
“Several members of this conspiracy fraudulently obtained funds from ERISA-covered employee benefit plans,” Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General Southeast Region Special Agent-in-Charge Mathew Broadhurst said. “The funds, which originated from unwitting individuals’ retirement accounts, were deposited into personal and business bank accounts that were created in furtherance of this money-laundering conspiracy. The greed of the conspirators caused workers and prospective retirees to lose significant portions of their hard-earned retirement funds.”
Broadhurst said the agency would continue to work with its law enforcement partners and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration to protect the integrity of employee benefit plans.