1 October – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, William T. Sims, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service, Miami Field Office, and Henry Gutierrez, Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, Miami Field Office, announced today that two (2) corporations, GAF Financial Services, Inc., of Pembroke Pines, Florida, and Yellema Bureau de Change, of Lagos, Nigeria, pled guilty in federal court today for their participation in an advance fee scheme.
This afternoon, Yellema Bureau de Charge, a corporation located in Lagos, Nigeria, entered a guilty plea before Judge William P. Dimitrouleas to one (1) count of conspiracy to launder money, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h). Yellema Bureau de Change was immediately sentenced and ordered to forfeit its interest in the money seized in the GAF bank accounts.
The second corporation, GAF Financial Services, Inc., pled guilty on August 12, 2005, to charges of operating as an unlicensed money transmitter, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1960. GAF Financial is scheduled to be sentenced on October 20, 2005, before District Court Judge Dimitrouleas in Ft. Lauderdale.
According to the court documents, these companies received more than $1,000,000 from victims in and outside of the United States in early 2004. The victims were allegedly lured into various types of advance fee schemes. Under one scheme, commonly known as the “419 Advance fee scheme,” the victims were instructed to wire their funds to bank accounts in Miramar, Florida. Once the funds were received, the money was then wire-transferred to various bank accounts around the world. In total, approximately $927,000 was seized and frozen by the United States government in these bank accounts.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspectors. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey Kay, Roger Powell, and William Beckerleg of the Fort Lauderdale Office.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls . Related court documents and information may be found on the
website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on .