Over 3,000 "Money Mules" Arrested in the United States

Monday, May 13, 2024 by Amelia Soto

Over 3,000 "Money Mules" Arrested in the United States
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The U.S. Department of Justice, in collaboration with the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), has reported the arrest of over 3,000 'money mules', key players in transferring funds from fraud victims to international criminals.

In an official statement, it was detailed that these 'mules' are typically utilized in a variety of fraud schemes, including lottery scams, romantic relationship scams, and the exploitation of government funds, with a significant incidence among elderly individuals. "Many of these 'money mules' are initially victims of romantic or lottery scams themselves and are manipulated into transferring fraudulent earnings unknowingly," the statement said.

In some instances, individuals are recruited for what they believe to be legitimate work-from-home jobs, unaware that they are facilitating criminal activities. Benjamin C. Mizer, a prosecutor, emphasized that these actions have helped to "keep money out of the hands of international scammers and in the pockets of hardworking Americans."

Furthermore, he reiterated the commitment of the Department of Justice to use all available tools to combat fraud and protect citizens. The operation included the execution of criminal proceedings and the dispatch of approximately 2,970 warning letters to inform those who might have been deceived by the scammers.

Among the most notable cases was the indictment of 16 individuals involved in a scam orchestrated from the Dominican Republic, which affected dozens of elderly Americans in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. "We will relentlessly pursue those who attempt to move funds illegally for illicit purposes," stated Michael Nordwall, Assistant Director of the FBI's Criminal Investigation Division.

The authorities are also intensifying outreach activities to educate the public on how scammers use 'mules' and how they can avoid being part of these crimes. This initiative reinforces the ongoing efforts of federal authorities to prevent fraud and ensure the economic integrity of citizens, protecting the most vulnerable from being exploited by international criminal networks.

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