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Illinois woman charged in fraud scheme

An Illinois woman was taken into custody by the FBI on Dec. 12 and accused of helping to facilitate a fraudulent international investment scheme. The accused woman is one of six people who federal authorities have named in an indictment. After she was handed her charges, the woman was set free on bond. Her next court hearing was scheduled to take place on Jan. 4 in New York.

The six individuals named in the indictment have been accused of stealing more than $50 million from would-be investors in several different countries. The alleged fraud involved false claims about an investment opportunity that was supposedly operated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. According to investigators, facilitators of the scheme told investors that each $1 million investment could earn them as much as a $150 million return.

All of the individuals who were indicted have had their bank accounts frozen. Court records indicate that the Illinois woman received a $25,000 deposit into her bank account on Dec. 5 that was allegedly a payment for her investor recruiting efforts. The FBI also gathered evidence about the Illinois woman's activities by posing as investors. She could face up to 22 years in prison if she is convicted on charges of aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

White collar crimes can be difficult to prove because prosecutors often have to sort through a great deal of online activities and complex bank transactions. When authorities suspect that there is a fraud scheme going on, an investigation could take several months or even years. People who become aware that they are the target may want to have legal representation before any indictment is handed down.

Source: KWQC, "Feds break up fraudulent investment scheme; Savanna woman among six indicted," Mark Stevens, Dec. 30, 2016

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