TYLER, Texas – The Eastern District of Texas Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei announced that a Floridian who moved to Sulphur Springs has pleaded guilty to federal violations.
Jeremy Christopher Jones, 46, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love. Jones has additionally agreed to pay restitution of $438,433.00, representing the proceeds he and his recruits received and deposited.
“Multiple federal agencies worked together to dissect a complicated, international financial scheme that was bilking thousands of Americans from all over the country out of hard-earned funds,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. “Together, those agencies have ensured that individuals seeking to profit from fraudulent activities will now account for their actions. Today’s plea has added significance, given that it comes on the eve of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.”
According to information presented in court, in 2014, Jones, who then lived in Florida, became involved with a money-laundering operation. He picked up funds wired to various money services businesses, such as MoneyGram and Western Union. Jones created fictitious companies, opened bank accounts in the names of these businesses, and then deposited the money for the fake companies. The wired funds were fraud proceeds obtained from victims of various schemes, including loan modification scams, IRS impersonation scams, and credit card scams.
Jones relocated to Sulphur Springs in 2015 but continued his money laundering activities by making pickups of wired victim funds and recruited others, supervised their activity. Jones received a percentage of the cash and money orders that he and his recruits picked up. He returned to Florida in 2018 and resumed his money laundering operations there.
A federal grand jury indicted Jones on June 29, 2020. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the court will determine the sentencing based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. They will schedule a sentencing hearing after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been a victim of financial fraud, help is standing by at the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). The U.S. Department of Justice hotline, managed by the Office for Victims of Crime, is staffed by experienced professionals who provide personalized support to callers by assessing the victim’s needs and identifying appropriate next steps. Case managers will identify relevant reporting agencies, provide information to callers to assist them in reporting, connect callers directly with appropriate agencies, and provide resources and referrals on a case-by-case basis.
Reporting is the first step. Reporting can help authorities identify those who commit fraud, and reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible can increase the likelihood of recovering losses. The hotline is staffed 9:00 am-5:00 pm Central Time, Monday-Friday. English, Spanish, and other languages are available.
The Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations investigated this case; Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General; the United States Secret Service; and Treasury Inspector General-Tax Administration and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alan Jackson and Frank Coan.