Two businessmen who own strip clubs and nightclubs in South Carolina and other states were arrested on hundreds of federal charges involving allegations of money laundering and drug trafficking. If convicted as charged, the two each face thousands of years of imprisonment.
According to the U.S. Attorney, the men laundered $2.3 million through their various businesses. Authorities allege the men created false invoices and other allegedly fraudulent business documents as if the funds were part of legitimate business dealings. Authorities additionally allege the men conspired to obtain cocaine for purposes of distribution.
The men were arrested along with five alleged co-conspirators. They are set to appear in federal court in San Francisco to answer the indictment filed there. Both were businessmen in Myrtle Beach. One is facing up to 2,240 years in prison, while the other is facing a maximum of 2,160 years in prison.
This case demonstrates just how severe penalties may be for money laundering and other white-collar crimes. It also shows how prosecutors sometimes engage in charge stacking that can result in sentences extending far beyond a lifetime. Charge stacking occurs in some cases because prosecutors understand people are more likely to accept a plea rather than face a trial. People who are charged with these types of crimes may want to get help from a criminal defense attorney. Such an attorney will seek to identify potential defenses and then devise an effective strategy to attack the allegations. It is also sometimes possible to negotiate an arrangement with the prosecutor in which the defendant will agree to plead guilty to a lesser offense in exchange for lighter penalties.
Source: Morning News Online, “Myrtle Beach businessmen arrested near Florence face charges after federal money laundering, drug trafficking scheme,” Joshua Lloyd, March 20, 2015.