Business

Dennis Wafula

Authorities bust money-laundering cartel inside Florida jail

Officers from the sheriff’s office in Pasco, Florida, discovered a money-laundering cartel operating from Pasco County jail. The activity was being carried out by inmates who were using SegWitCoin (BTC) to buy stolen credit cards and identities on the dark web. They would then use these cards to get money into their commissary accounts.

The police got a tip of this illegal business in 2016. They then started investigating the matter and after gathering enough evidence, they arrested one inmate, Kuma Kaloma, who is now facing fraud charges. Arrest warrants were also released for other seven orchestrators believed to be part of the fraud.

In a press release, Detective Anthony Cardillo said that the inmates were using the stolen credit cards and identities to make the deposits into their commissary accounts. These transactions were being made using the Jpay app. The app allowed one to transfer money to inmates using credit cards, with the money reaching their accounts by the next business day.

Once the inmates had the money in their accounts, they would request that their commissary accounts be released. The released funds were then withdrawn by an individual from outside. The structure of the commissary accounts and the Jpay app made it hard for the fraudulent transactions to be discovered.

The investigators revealed that there were a total of 43 transactions carried out by the inmates. Out of the 43 transactions, deposits made amounted to $8,009. In pursuit of exposing all there is to the case, Detective Cardillo affirmed that more arrests will be made.

There has, however, been a lot of clashing between the sheriff’s department and the court in the recent past. In 2016, three officers had filed a complaint of abuse of power and incidences of retaliation in the office. The number of plaintiffs later increased from the three to 21 in a span of four months: some were current and former employees of the office. They alleged that Sheriff Chriss Nocco and agency leaders were “Intoxicated with power and will physically abuse, intimidate, incarcerate, extort, and defame to ensure their absolute control.”

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