Texas Woman Accused of Money Laundering Through a Romance Scam
Money laundering involves concealing the origins of illegal money by moving it through legitimate channels. Because it involves disguising illegal activities, money laundering is often associated with organized crime and drug traffickers. However, it can happen in many contexts, including online dating scams.
One Texas woman is facing federal charges for her alleged involvement in a scam involving sham businesses, money mules, and romance scams. She is accused of laundering money that was stolen from alleged “romance scam” victims. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.
Federal Charges for Involvement in an Alleged Romance Scam
A romance scam is a scam in which someone uses a dating website or social media to target people seeking companionship. The individual conducting the scam typically creates a false identity and builds trust with the other person before asking for money, often claiming it is needed for an emergency or travel expenses. Of course, online dating is extremely common in our modern world, and it is not always easy to tell whether a financial transaction is fraudulent or part of a legitimate online relationship.
The Texas woman facing money laundering charges is not the only person to be accused of such a scam. Another Texas resident was accused of a similar scam involving $1.6 million in proceeds. He pled guilty to money laundering and conspiracy in January of this year and will be sentenced in late April.
The penalties for romance scams are severe, and most of the offenses involved in romance scams are prosecuted by the federal government. In addition to jail time, many people convicted of scams like these are required to pay restitution. If you or someone close to you has been accused of fraud, money laundering, acting as a money mule, or engaging in an online scam, high-quality legal support is crucial.
Contact our Plano Criminal Defense Lawyer
Many people assume that so-called “white collar “offenses like money laundering and fraud are not punished as severely as violent offenses. However, these types of crimes are often punishable by years if not decades in prison – especially if a person faces multiple charges.
If you have been accused of participating in an online scam, money laundering arrangement, or similar activity, do not make the mistake of underestimating the severity of the situation. You could be facing substantial prison time and mandatory restitution payments.
At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., our skilled Collin County white collar criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience in a range of criminal cases and we have obtained more than 250 “not guilty” verdicts. Call our office today at 214-303-9600 and set up a free, confidential case assessment to learn more.