Rama Vyasulu, the general manager of Rosemont Corporation., the Miami money service business whose clients had millions of dollars seized by the US Government, after Vyasulu engaged in the laundering of what he believed to be criminal profits, walked out of Federal custody on 14 September, having been conveniently sentenced to one year and a day, and served ten months, some of which in a halfway house.
Vyasulu told his Venezuelan clients that his MSB license( see below) acted as an umbrella, and covered their US currency exchange activities, in what were known as sub-accounts, in Florida. The US Attorney in Boston, where the undercover DEA agents were from that stung Vyasulu, then froze $240m in their accounts, charging that they had failed to obtain either FinCEN or Florida licenses.
The account holders, who were unable to access their clients' money in the accounts, and facing a possible criminal indictment for failure to register as a money service business, were forced to settle their cases, by agreeing to forfeit a percentage of each account to the United States. A fair result ? Obviously not. What was obviously a technical violation, without the requisite intent, was used by prosecutors to exact Draconian penalties on entities that had no choice but to submit.
Now, the individual who was responsible for the problem, who misled his clients into thinking that they were covered by his license, and who cooperated with law enforcement, gets only a slap on the wrist. As one of Miami's best criminal defence lawyers is always fond of saying " you can do a year in Federal Prison standing on your head." Having been there myself for a few years, I know that a short term is not a life-changing event. The government gave the guilty party an undeserved break, and meted out punishment unfairly.
Was justice served here ? I fear, not very well.