ERAD is often an integral part of identifying financial fraud, freezing/seizing assets, and documenting information to support investigations. We have highlighted a recent case that may be of interest to you in which ERAD provided support to the DEA and helped them to forfeit over $900,000 in suspected laundered drug proceeds.
A recent article in the Casper Star Tribune (WY) provided details of a recent multi-agency federal investigation into suspected trade-based money laundering with possible ties to Mexican drug cartels. Fraudulent activities were identified at fast-food restaurants in Colorado and Wyoming that were transferring suspected drug proceeds initially onto prepaid debit cards and then into checking accounts in an attempt to avoid detection from law enforcement. Funds were then remitted to a drug money laundering organization via check.
ERAD, working with investigators and the evidence derived in the case from analysis of merchant service provider data, was able to determine that over 50% of the cards used at the restaurant during a three-month period were prepaid cards which was determined through the investigation to be significantly greater than restaurants conducting legitimate business. The information gathered was critical in the forfeiture of the over $900,000 seized.