☷Kalispell Businesswoman Accused of Running Money Mule Business to Launder Funds Overseas from Wire Fraud Schemes in the United States
Federal Bureau of Investigation ( By Press Release office)
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Kalispell businesswoman accused of running money mule business to launder funds overseas from wire fraud schemes in the United States MISSOULA — A Kalispell woman suspected of operating a money mule business to collect money from various wire fraud schemes occurring in the United States and then sending the funds overseas in return for a commission appeared today for arraignment on conspiracy and money laundering charges , U . S . Attorney Leif M . Johnson said . Theresa Anne Chabot , 57 , pleaded not guilty to a 30 - count indictment charging her with unlicensed money transmitting business , conspiracy to commit money laundering , 17 counts of money laundering - promotion and 11 counts of money laundering - spending . If convicted of the most serious crime , Chabot faces a maximum of 20 years in prison , a $500 , 000 fine and three years of supervised release . U . S . Magistrate Judge Kathleen L . DeSoto presided . Judge DeSoto released Chabot pending further proceedings . The indictment alleges that from about May 2016 until about February 2021 , Chabot conspired with others and through her business , Avalanche Creek , LLC , an unregistered money transmitting business , to operate as a money mule related to various wire fraud schemes occurring in the United States . The wire fraud schemes included advance pay schemes , internet - enabled frauds , investment schemes , romance schemes , lottery and sweepstakes frauds and COVID - 19 funding fraud . A money mule is a person who transfers illegally acquired money for other individuals . Money mules often receive a commission for providing their services . The indictment further alleges that during the scheme , Chabot opened more than 50 bank accounts , collected the proceeds from the wire fraud schemes and then transmitted the money overseas . Banks closed numerous accounts after reviewing the activity , and at least 15 banks directly informed Chabot the accounts were being closed because of fraud , in violation of bank policies and other identified misuse . Despite repeated account closures , Chabot opened new bank accounts that enabled her to receive proceeds from fraud schemes with victims located in the United States . Chabot received a fee , which in many instances totaled approximately 10 percent of the fraudulent proceeds deposited into her bank accounts . Chabot would then forward the remaining funds overseas , including to Dubai , in the United Arab Emirates . An indictment is merely an accusation , and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law . Assistant U . S . Attorney Ryan G . Weldon is prosecuting the case , which was investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigations . PACER case reference . 22 - 18 . The progress of cases may be monitored through the U . S . District Court Calendar and the PACER system . To establish a PACER account , which provides electronic access to review documents filed in a case , please visit http://www . pacer . gov/register . html . To access the District Court’s calendar , please visit https://ecf . mtd . uscourts . gov/cgi - bin/PublicCalendar . pl . XXX
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