Latrobe woman admits participating in money laundering conspiracy
A Latrobe woman pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh to participating in a “mystery shoppers” money laundering scheme for five years.
Susan Rings, 63, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of money laundering conspiracy before Judge David S. Cercone, according to U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was told that during the period from January 2011 through May 2016, Rings became a member of the conspiracy. Rings and her co-conspirators withdrew funds from prepaid debit cards and credit cards; transmitted and received funds via MoneyGram, Walmart and Western Union; cashed checks and money orders, and sent and received wire transfers of funds.
Brady reported the scheme involved more than $95,000, which were proceeds of wire fraud.
According to court documents, the co-conspirators in the scheme recruited victims and deceived them into believing that they were legitimate mystery shoppers, who were gathering information about a company’s products or services. Prosecutors alleged the conspirators induced the victims to cash fraudulent checks and money orders, draw cash from fraudulent prepaid debit cards and credit cards, and receive and transmit fraudulent wire transfers of money.
Cercone scheduled sentencing for July 24. Brady said the law provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 or both. Under federal sentence guidelines, the actual sentence is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history.
Rings was released on bond pending sentencing.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducted the investigation, Brady said.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .