Landmark Case Changes Everything For Money Mules

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

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Landmark Case Changes Everything For Money MulesMoney mules Money mules are a type of money laundering where a person transfers illicit funds through a medium (such as a bank account) to obfuscate where the money came from. There are different types of money mules including witting, unwitting, and complicit.

Impatience With Money Mules Is Driving Prosecution

Mules Have Limited Time To Report And Respond Before Prosecution Is Put On The Table

Money Mules Are The Backbone Of Online CriminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. Enterprises

More and More, Police & Prosecutors Are Losing Patience with Mules that Do Not Come Forward to End the Criminality!

HERE ARE TWO EXAMPLES

CASE #1

Bristol Woman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud Financial Institutions

ABINGDON, Virginia – Kathleen Littleford, a Bristol, Virginia (U.S.A.) woman, who fraudulently opened several bank accounts, deposited counterfeit checks, and shipped large quantities of cash overseas in order to assistant a man with whom she was involved in an online relationship, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to a federal conspiracy charge, Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar announced.

Littleford, 76, waived her right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to execute a scheme to defraud financial institutions to obtain money by false pretenses. At sentencing, Littleford faces up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1 million. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for April 6, 2021.

“Financial fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. cases like this are not victimless crimes,” Acting United States Attorney Bubar said today. “Thousands of Americans are targeted in similar online financial schemes, and when they willingly participate, the fraud is perpetuated. The Western District of Virginia is committed to investigating and prosecuting these kinds of online fraud schemes and we appreciate the good work of our federal and state partners in this case.”

According to court documents, beginning in 2018, Littleford opened a series of bank accounts for the purpose of depositing counterfeit checks and receiving fraudulent transfers of funds from other banking institutions. She did so to assist a man she met online calling himself Frank Peterson. Beginning with his introduction and continuing to the present day, Littleford engaged in an amorous relationship with Peterson, engaging in frequent emailing, text messaging, Facebook messaging, and phone call communications.

“Peterson” made representations to Littleford over the course of their relationship that he made a lot of money in a trade deal in Dubai, that those funds were encumbered by the IRSIRS The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the revenue & tax service of the United States federal government responsible for collecting taxes and administering the Internal Revenue Code (the main body of federal statutory tax law.) It is part of the Department of the Treasury and led by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who is appointed to a five-year term by the President of the United States. The duties of the IRS include providing tax assistance to taxpayers; pursuing and resolving instances of erroneous or fraudulent tax filings; and overseeing various benefits programs. Visit www.IRS.gov to learn more. due to taxes he owed, that he had a lot of money tied up in stocks, and that he needed Littleford’s help receiving funds from banking institutions because he could not transfer money himself, due to the IRS claims on his accounts.

Littleford admitted today that premised on Peterson’s representations and enticed by a reciprocal love and devotion he showed her, Littleford undertook extraordinary measures to comply with Peterson’s fraudulent financial requests. Littleford knew what she was doing was wrong, but knowingly and willfully engaged in the conduct anyway.

Over the course of the scheme, Littleford opened accounts with at least five local banks and fraudulently received move than $190,000 in funds to which she was not entitled.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service and the Russell County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Daniel J. Murphy is prosecuting the case for the United States.

Here is her LinkedIn Profile: Kathleen Littleford | LinkedIn

Case #2

U.S. State of Arkansas Attorney general sues woman for alleged ‘money muleMoney Mule A money mule sometimes called a "smurfer," is a person who transfers money acquired illegally (e.g., stolen) in person, through a courier service, or electronically, on behalf of others (usually criminals that they are knowingly or unknowingly affiliated). Typically, the mule is paid for services with a small part of the money transferred - but not always. Mules may or may not be aware that they are performing these actions. Money mules are often dupes recruited online for what they think is legitimate employment, not aware that the money they are transferring is the product of crime. The money is transferred from the mule's account to the scam operator, typically in another country. Similar techniques are used to transfer illegal merchandise. Mules can be prosecuted for numerous crimes.’ role in online scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.

State Attorney Rutledge said the Hot Springs woman “essentially helped to funnel money, estimated at perhaps upwards of $6-million, to scheme operators in Jamaica.”

State Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is suing a Hot Springs Arkansas woman and accusing her of being a “money mule” who facilitated a fake online lottery scamLottery Scam These scams involve someone claiming you won a prize. However, they say you must pay a fee or provide sensitive banking information in order to get it. They keep the money, and you get nothing for it. for thieves in Jamaica.

“Jean Butler has been acting as a money mule and facilitating a multi-million dollar sweepstakes scheme,” the Republican attorney general said during a Wednesday news conference. “She essentially helped to funnel money, estimated at perhaps upwards of $6-million, to scheme operators in Jamaica.”

Butler, 73, allegedly served as the American midpoint in addition to being the muleMule A money mule sometimes called a "smurfer," is a person who transfers money acquired illegally (e.g., stolen) in person, through a courier service, or electronically, on behalf of others (usually criminals that they are knowingly or unknowingly affiliated). Typically, the mule is paid for services with a small part of the money transferred - but not always. Mules may or may not be aware that they are performing these actions. Money mules are often dupes recruited online for what they think is legitimate employment, not aware that the money they are transferring is the product of crime. The money is transferred from the mule's account to the scam operator, typically in another country. Similar techniques are used to transfer illegal merchandise. Mules can be prosecuted for numerous crimes..

Typically, in scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. targeting the elderly, the caller says you won a huge prize if you just pay us a fee. Rutledge says Butler didn’t make the calls, but instead, opened the bank accounts for the victims to deposit money into, which thieves in the island nation would then plunder.

“They were simply having to ‘pay the taxes’ or having to pay a fee associated with that prize,” Rutledge said. “Jean Butler would then allow someone in Jamaica to withdraw those monies.”

The civil lawsuit says as many as 50 victims came from across the country and Canada. A woman in Missoula, Mont., first mentioned a specific person in Hot Springs to authorities, triggering the Arkansas investigation.

Other victims came from Nebraska, Kansas, and Ontario.

Rutledge hinted that Butler may have been lured into the scheme by online or e-mail ads that offer easy “work from home” jobs, but she vehemently stressed that she believes Butler knew what she was doing.

“Jean Butler knew exactly what she was doing,” she said. “Jean Butler accepted these checks, she opened up bank accounts, and when the bank accounts by the bank, she would open up another bank account.”

The attorney general shared other details from the investigation, including Butler allegedly telling banks she would be traveling to Jamaica, and so there was no need to flag any suspicious transactions.

“Customs has informed us she does not even have a passport, much less traveled to Jamaica,” Rutledge said.

The case is a civil lawsuit, but Rutledge says the FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. has a criminal investigation underway. A phone number connected to Butler’s address is disconnected. The summons was set to be served Wednesday, so court records did not list a lawyer for Butler that evening.

It will eventually go before Judge Wendell Griffen in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

How To Stop Being A Mule?

As we have said many times, a Mule must report the crimes and their involvement to the local police immediately. However, we also strongly recommend that they contact a criminal defense attorney first to explore the case and have the attorney negotiate their cooperation to minimize the potential consequences.

Historically, money mules that were lured into helping a criminal as a part of a romance scam have not been prosecuted, as long as they came forward voluntarily. When the police discover a mule through investigation and find that they have remained silent then that is a different story, with a much more tragic potential outcome.

A SINGLE MONEY MULE CAN BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VICTIMIZATIONVictimization Victimization (or victimization) is the process of being victimized or becoming a victim. The field that studies the process, rates, incidence, effects, and prevalence of victimization is called victimology. OF THOUSANDS OF VICTIMS.

Stopping money mules is key to reducing scams and fraud schemes worldwide.

Every money mule has the choice to stop and to report the crime.

Not reporting is a choice, they then become an accessory.

Did You Receive Money From A Scammer, Or Give A Scammer Access To Your Accounts?

You may have become a Money Mule. This is a crime!

You may have been involved in money launderingMoney laundering Money laundering is the illegal process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions. Money laundering can be done through various mediums, leveraging a variety of payment vehicles, people and institutions. or aiding and abetting transnational criminals. Do not try to hide from this – this is serious, and if you are discovered (and you will be) then you might be prosecuted.

You should report these crimes to your local police – however, we strongly recommend that you speak with a Criminal Defense Attorney immediately. You have no time to waste. You cannot avoid this, do it today!

SCARS is not a law firm and we are not attorneys. The information we provide is for educational purposes only. See additional disclaimer below.

To find a criminal defense attorney in the United States visit FindLaw here: Criminal Law – FindLaw  For other countries look for your local directory of criminal defense attorneys or solicitors.

Money-Mule-Model
MONEY-MULE-flow
MONEY-MULE-SPECTRUM
What Is A Money Mule

TAGS: SCARS, Information About Scams, Anti-Scam, Scams, Scammers, Fraudsters, Cybercrime, Crybercriminals, Romance Scams, Scam Victims, Online Fraud, Online Crime Is Real Crime, Scam Avoidance, Money Mules, Mules Prosecuted, Mules Going To Prison

Always Report All Scams – Anywhere In The World To:

U.S. FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS and SCARS at www.Anyscams.com

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SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Inc.

A Worldwide Crime Victims Assistance & Crime Prevention Nonprofit Organization Headquartered In Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with Partners In More Than 60 Countries
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SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

A Worldwide Crime Victims Assistance & Crime Prevention Nonprofit Organization Headquartered In Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with Partners In More Than 60 Countries
To Learn More, Volunteer, or Donate Visit: www.AgainstScams.org
Contact Us: Contact@AgainstScams.org

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