Video: Feds Jail New York Money Launderers

When you buy prescription medicine online from an unlicensed pharmacy, your credit card charges can't be legally processed by legitimate banks. Drug sellers turn to criminals to launder their payments. That's how these New Yorkers just got a combined 104 months in prison for bank and wire fraud.

Video Transcript

When you use your credit or debit card to buy medicine from unlicensed foreign drug sellers, where do you think your money goes? Well, it’s not directly to a friendly neighborhood pharmacy.

Credit card companies won’t process payments for non-FDA-approved foreign medicine, so unlicensed drug sellers have to lie about what they’re selling to get paid.

Enter three New Yorkers who just got a combined 104 months in prison for bank and wire fraud.

They registered more than 70 fake “front” companies at different addresses, made websites for them, and set them up with credit card merchant accounts. Then they used the merchant accounts to process 50 million dollars in payments for illegal medicines from China, Russia and India. They even had a call center to explain unfamiliar business names on credit card statements so that customers wouldn’t report them as fraudulent charges.

Records show that these unlicensed drug sellers sold controlled medications and other drugs with serious safety risks. Just two of these shell companies processed more than three thousand payments for controlled drugs, among them stimulants like modafinil and opioids like tramadol.

We can’t know how many people were harmed by these drugs, but we’re glad law enforcement successfully stopped fake pharmacies from using these guys for payments. We’re indebted to the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, The Pennsylvania State Police, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Money laundering investigations like this one are a time-honored way for law enforcement to dismantle crime organizations, and we are grateful for their hard work of investigating, documenting the fraud and prosecuting this case.

To learn more about successful cases like this, watch our playlist about closed law enforcement case on YouTube. Don’t forget to click subscribe!