By Alexis R. Milan
Three American citizens have been arrested in New York City, following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which uncovered plans to launder large sums of money in Belize and Panama.
Kenneth Landgaard, James Shipman and Michael Dodd were arrested last Wednesday for conspiring to move illicit cash out of the US to Belize and Panama. Both countries are considered money laundering havens by the US.
Langaard and Shipman were arrested at Long Island’s MacArthur Airport, after flying in on a private jet carrying US $2.2 million in a duffel bag.
According to prosecutors, the men believed they would be laundering stock-fraud proceeds for a fee. The sting had already allowed the men to launder US $400,000 and had followed the men to New York to finish the job. Dodd was arrested shortly after his partners were busted, at a restaurant where he was waiting to meet an undercover agent posing as a client for lunch.
“We are committed to closing fraudulent offshore safe havens”, Acting US attorney Kelly Currie said in a statement in Brooklyn, following the arrests.
Prosecutors in the US have stepped up their efforts to curtail offshore laundering and fraud. In a separate case last month, a California stock promoter, Gregg Mulholland was charged in Brooklyn with taking part in a Belize-based scheme, that allegedly led to a surge in market capital for a little-known company, Cynk Technology Corp.
Mulholland was charged with running a stock manipulation fraud that generated US $300 million of illegal profits, and included a pump-and-dump scheme that caused the market value for Cynk to rocket past $6 billion.
Prosecutors accused Mulholland of also manipulating the shares of numerous other public US companies, and laundering the profit through at least five offshore law firms to avoid Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reporting requirements.
They said Mulholland was also the “secret” owner of Legacy Global Markets SA, a Panama- and Belize-based broker-dealership and investment manager, indicted last September in Brooklyn over a separate, alleged $500 million fraud scheme.
The arrest, in Phoenix, followed charges brought last year in Brooklyn against Robert Bandfield, a US citizen who was accused of scheming with five other executives, including Bahamians Kelvin Leach and Rohn Knowles and a group of offshore brokerage entities to set up sham companies and facilitate penny-stock fraud, tax evasion and money laundering.