A Pennsylvania white collar criminal who was the leader and organizer of a crew that fraudulently obtained $7.7m in Federal tax refunds, and then processed them through his three check cashing businesses, which were fronts used solely to hide criminal activities, was sentenced to 169 months' imprisonment in US District Court in Scranton. Jonathan Jacome, age 30, executed a plea agreement to one count of Money Laundering Conspiracy.
The defendant admitted in his plea agreement that he has engaged in:
(1) Theft of Public Money.
(2) Wire Fraud.
(3) Bank Fraud.
(4) Money Laundering.
Jacome's sentence included an Order of Restitution for the amount stolen, and he must forfeit real property purchased with the proceeds of his crimes. If you were wondering about the length of his sentence, the defendant, and others, presented false testimony to a Federal Grand Jury, and he therefore received an enhancement to his Guidelines Sentence calculation for Obstruction of Justice.
It is sentences like this that serve as an effective deterrence to others. Generally, most money laundering cases result in shorter sentences, which sends the wrong signal to individuals who regularly have an opportunity to engage in money laundering. Only if they know that the potential sentence which a court could mete out to them could be severe will they be effectively deterred.