Thirteen Charged for Identity Theft, Money Laundering in Gas Pump Scheme

Thieves Who Stole Credit Card Information at Gas Pumps Arrested, Charged with Money Laundering

gas pumpThirteen suspects total have been arrested and charged with identity theft and money laundering in a nationwide gas pump theft scheme, according to federal prosecutors.

Four suspects have pleaded not guilty to money laundering, identity theft, credit card fraud, and other federal charges on Monday, January 20th. Nine others were being arrested.

Reportedly, the thieves used a device on the side of gas pumps in Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas to steal credit card and PIN information. The identity thieves then forged new credit cards, and withdrew cash at ATMs in Manhattan, deposited the cash again in new bank accounts, then withdrew it again at ATMs in California and Nevada.

The group reportedly stole $2 million from several victims.

The money laundering and identity theft scheme is still being investigated. No trial dates have been announced yet.

What is Money Laundering?

Money laundering is engaging in a transaction that involves proceeds from specified illegal activity in an attempt to either promote or conceal that activity.

This charge often appears in conjunction with other allegations, usually in relation to drug crimes, fraud, or other cases where the accused person has obtained money or other property illegally.

We represent clients under investigation or facing money laundering charges involving:

  • Illegal wire transfers/wire fraud
  • Failure to report transactions over $10,000 and
  • Bank fraud

Money laundering is found in Section 1956 of Title 18 of the United States Code.  If convicted, money laundering carries a penalty of up to 20 years and a fine of not more than $500,000 or twice the value of the property in the transaction.  Penalties can also include criminal forfeiture (forfeiture of assets).

The most common defense to money laundering is lack of knowledge or intent. A skilled federal defense attorney such as the lawyers at the Strom Law Firm may be able to establish that you did not intend to promote unlawful activity or that the transaction was not designed to conceal the unlawful activity.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Federal Charges like Money Laundering and Identity Theft

Centrally-located in Columbia, South Carolina, our firm has been serving clients for over 15 years.  Founded by former U.S. Attorney and assistant solicitor, Pete Strom, our experienced criminal defense attorneys include a former public defender, and a former Assistant Attorney General and Richland County Assistant Solicitor, as well as a tax lawyer familiar with IRS investigations.  Our experience and familiarity with prosecutorial techniques provide the basis for experienced and effective legal representation. We will fight hard to have your charges reduced, or even dismissed.

While related charges can further complicate a money laundering defense or other type of case, it is important to remember that just because you have been accused, doesn’t mean you are guilty or that you have no rights. Contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free, confidential consultation to discuss how we can help. 803.252.4800

Speak Your Mind