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8 Guilty of $5.2 Million Fraud Scheme at South Florida Casino

Four former South Florida casino employees and their wives have been convicted of stealing $5.2 million from the business over several years.

The U.S. The Attorney’s Office in Miami announced Tuesday that four men have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal funds in excess of $1,000 from Miccosukee Gaming, conspiracy to commit computer fraud and money laundering conspiracy. Their respective wives have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering offenses. All eight await sentencing.

According to federal court documents, the men worked in the casino’s video game department. From January 2011 to May 2015, they tampered with computers in electronic gaming machines, causing those machines to generate false and fraudulent credit vouchers or tickets. They then enlisted others to exchange the vouchers for cash at the casino. The money was turned over to the employees’ wives, who moved the cash between multiple bank accounts.

The couples used the stolen funds to buy homes, investment properties, vehicles, boats, vacations and Florida Prepaid College Plans for their children.

Conspiracy charges can arise in any scenario where two or more people allegedly planned to commit a crime. Many conspiracy cases involve complex issues and the question of the responsibility of each individual involved.

Money laundering charges can arise in any case where allegedly illegally obtained money changes hands. This offense can also be charged when illegally obtained money is deposited in the bank.

Typically, money laundering charges are brought as conspiracies to commit the crime on multiple occasions. With that said, you can be charged with a new count of money laundering for each transaction knowingly conducted with these illegally obtained funds. What does this mean? If you engaged in one banking transaction per day for one month, you could be charged with as many as 30 counts of money laundering.

Money laundering is often linked to other charges. For this specific case, the men are charged with conspiracy to steal funds in excess of $1,000 and conspiracy to commit computer fraud. Authorities tacked on the money laundering conspiracy charge. 

Money laundering may be charged as a federal or Florida State offense, each of which carry harsh penalties. Due to the fact that money laundering is a complex crime, investigations are typically conducted by those with forensic accounting and tax backgrounds such as the IRS, Secret Service and FBI. You will need an experienced South Florida Money Laundering Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton to defend you.

Even though it is not classified as a violent crime, money laundering is one of the most serious charges you can ever face. Every count of conspiracy to commit or money laundering that may be charged can lead to years of imprisonment, substantial fines and asset forfeiture. Penalties at the state and federal level are both substantial.

In order to prosecute an individual of money laundering, the court must prove that the person charged with money laundering illegally obtained the funds in question and deliberately concealed their origins. Without these two critical pieces of evidence, money laundering charges must be dismissed. Our South Florida White Collar Crimes Attorneys at Whittel & Melton understand that these types of charges can be fabricated or displayed in the wrong light. Our attorneys will work with you and help tell your side of the story. We can be your trusted advocates throughout this experience.

We will carefully investigate the circumstances surrounding your charges to formulate a tailored defense strategy for you. As former prosecutors, we have extensive experience in both state and federal courts, so we know how to protect our clients. We work to anticipate and address the prosecution’s arguments and fight to get the best results possible.

Many of our clients charged with money laundering are first-time offenders and have never encountered the legal system previously. We will work with you to make sure you understand charges, possible defense strategies and each phase of the trial so that you have the information you need to make key decisions for your future. Our goal is to fight to get you the best possible outcome for your particular situation.

At Whittel & Melton, our attorneys are experienced in defending clients who find themselves under investigation or Indictment for federal money laundering crimes. We have successfully obtained dismissals of money laundering charges and the return of property seized as part of money laundering investigations. The sooner you contact us the sooner we can get started building your defense. As with all criminal matters, we urge you to act fast to safeguard your future. 

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