Ohio family charged with laundering nearly $3 million by federal grand jury
An Ohio family was charged by a grand jury with money laundering after they allegedly laundered $2.9 million through fraudulent life-insurance policy.
The federal grand jury charged a father, mother, and daughter in a 33-count indictment returned on June 22 that alleged the family members conspired to and actually laundered nearly $3 million.
Per the Department of Justice, 53-year-old Mitch G. Stevenson, 57-year-old Patricia Stevenson, and their daughter, 30-year-old Candace G. Stevenson, all of Mason, Ohio were charged.
The indictment was announced after an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office, and the IRS. It alleged that in 2009 two life-insurance policies were fraudulently purchased to insure another relative for a combined $2.9 million.
"The policy applications falsely stated that the relative had never been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure or ulcers, among other conditions, and that the relative had not had any medication in the 12 months before the application was prepared," said the DOJ in a release. "The defendants reported the person’s weight as 170 pounds, when in actuality the person’s true weight was approximately 375 to 400 pounds."
The DOJ said a medical examination was required as part of the application for the life insurance.
“In early February 2009, an unknown individual in Sugar Land, Texas, who met the description in the applications, represented herself as the relative at the examination and was weighed at 176 pounds,” said U.S. Attorney Glassman. “Three weeks earlier, the actual relative was weighed in a Cincinnati emergency room at 387 pounds.”
In early 2011, the DOJ said amendments were made to the owners and beneficiaries of the two policies to name Patricia and Candace Stevenson. A year later, the relative died and West Coast Life Insurance Company issued a $1.5 million check to Patricia Stevenson and a $1.4 million check to Candace Stevenson.
The DOJ said the family then engaged in a complex sequence of transactions in an attempt to disguise the fraud.
In 2012, the DOJ said they purchased a 2012 Bentley GT Convertible for approximately $247,000 and used approximately $284,000 as a down payment on a land contract on a home in Mason, Ohio. Other transactions included approximately $16,000 to World of Decor and nearly $33,000 to Facet Jewelry.
Money laundering conspiracy is a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison and money laundering carries a potential maximum sentence of 10 years in prison per DOJ.
They also wanted to make clear that the indictment contains accusations.
"The defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law."