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Tampa Woman Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

Courts | Indictment | Crime

She laundered money that had been extorted from people who were misled into believing they owed money to the IRS, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

TAMPA – A Tampa woman has pleaded guilty to laundering money that was obtained by conspirators who misled people into believing they owed money to the IRS, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida said.

Brenda Dozier, 54, of Tampa, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering. Dozier faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

Pursuant to her plea agreement, Dozier has agreed to pay about $225,000 in restitution to the victims of the conspiracy and has consented to a forfeiture money judgment in the same amount. A sentencing date has not been set.

According to the plea agreement, from July 2015 through at least November 2015, Dozier laundered money that had been extorted from U.S. residents by conspirators residing in the states and overseas.

India-based conspirators extorted money by impersonating IRS officers and misleading multiple victims to believe that they owed money to the IRS and would be arrested and fined if they did not immediately pay their alleged back taxes. As part of the conspiracy, Dozier opened bank accounts that she used to receive the fraud proceeds, typically via interstate wire transfers. Once Dozier had retrieved the proceeds, she provided the money to her co-conspirators. Dozier was paid for opening the accounts and conducting the transactions.

On Oct. 11, three co-conspirators, Nishitkumar Patel, Hemalkumar Shah, and Sharvil Patel were charged in a related case with Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Extortion, and with individual counts alleging wire fraud, extortion, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft for their roles in this scheme. Their trials are scheduled to begin in April.

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