Individuals from North Texas Caught in an Alleged Money Laundering Scheme
A woman, her adult daughter, and a man from North Texas all stand accused of money laundering and other crimes related to a federally funded meal program that was supposed to serve underprivileged students.
News reports indicate that the three suspects in the case allegedly operated a non-profit organization called Helping Others in Need. The organization was run out of Pennsylvania and was supposed to provide meals to underprivileged kids. The heart of the scheme included inflating the number of meals served. The organization would apparently submit reimbursement claims to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for hundreds of thousands of meals that were never served. The organization also allegedly submitted claims for meals that were supposedly served on days when the organization’s feeding site was closed.
Those meal reimbursement payments ended up totaling $4 million between 2015 and 2019. The indictment claims the money was used to pay for luxury clothing, flights, hotels, and at least nine different luxury automobiles, including Land Rovers, Maseratis, and a Bentley.
However, this is not the first time the three individuals may have used a meal service for nefarious purposes. The now unsealed indictment also claims that the individuals operated a meal program in Arkansas in 2014. The program was eventually found to be “seriously deficient,” and state officials shut it down.
Legal documents also indicate the individuals operated a meal program in Texas for a time. Again, the program was terminated by the state. They also had a meal program shut down in Texas and were barred from operating them here in the future, which may be why the Texas natives applied to operate out of Pennsylvania.
In total, the indictment against the trio accuses them of mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and obstruction of justice. Two of the individuals have been arrested by law enforcement, while one individual remains at large. Federal mail and wire fraud charges can carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison, while money laundering and obstruction charges can carry up to 10 years in prison.
Money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud, and embezzlement are all examples of what are considered “white collar” crimes. However, don’t let the name fool you. White-collar crimes can be extremely serious offenses that carry severe penalties, such as prison time and significant fines. Many of these crimes are not just state crimes either. They are federal crimes that prosecutors will aggressively and fully prosecute.
If you or a loved one gets caught up in any white-collar crime, contact the defense team at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian for immediate legal representation. You have no time to wait and need an experienced team on your side, building a compelling defensive strategy for you.
You may feel like the legal process is an uphill battle. At Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian, we understand, which is why we guide you through the entire process and give you valuable advice every step of the way. Call us today at (972) 369-0577 for a free consultation. We want to protect your rights and give you the best chance possible at a favorable outcome.