leader of a complex international fraud and money laundering network sentenced to 14 years in prison | USAO-MDFL

Tampa, Fla. — U.S. District Judge James Moody sentenced Mary Kathryn Marr (42, Miami) to 14 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering. The Court also ordered Marr to forfeit various assets, which are attributable to the proceeds of the offense and, as part of his sentence, entered a monetary judgment in the amount of $1.5 million, representing the proceeds which Marr received as a result of the criminal conduct charged. Additionally, the Court ordered Marr to pay compensation to the victims in the amount of $14,511,754.05. Marr pleaded guilty in June 2021.

According to court documents, Marr was the leader of a large international fraud and money laundering ring that operated from the United States and abroad. Marr entered into contracts with various international “boiler houses” to launder the proceeds of fraud that she and other conspirators had obtained from foreign victims, primarily by selling worthless investments. Marr and his conspirators used a mass marketing scam in which high-pressure sales techniques from the boiler rooms were used to defraud people who thought they were investing large sums in regulated financial products or markets, particularly stocks. . In reality, the investments were a sham and the victims received nothing. The majority of the victims targeted by Marr and his conspirators were in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and countries in Asia.

Marr and his co-conspirator, Michel Marc Chateau, who was indicted in the same case, operated a network of funneling bank accounts in the United States on behalf of shell companies to which Boiler Room agents instructed victims to send their money. In some cases, Marr, using fake personas, spoke with victims herself to convince them to send additional funds based on fraudulent representations and high-pressure tactics. The victims’ funds were then laundered through other bank accounts and sent overseas. Marr and Chateau recruited various people to open and manage funnel bank accounts in Florida and other states.

Electronic communications obtained during the investigation revealed that Marr received a set percentage of each victim’s wire transfer that was sent to bank accounts in the United States. Once the victims’ funds had been laundered through Marr’s network of bank accounts in the United States, Marr arranged for most of the funds to be sent back to boiler rooms and their employees overseas.

In total, Marr and his co-conspirators illegally obtained approximately $14.5 million from victims through various boiler room fraud schemes between 2015 and 2018. Including funds from other funnel accounts, accounts engaged in money laundering transactions totaling over $20 million.

On November 1, 2018, Serbian authorities arrested Marr in Belgrade, Serbia, pursuant to an INTERPOL Red Notice issued by the US Department of Justice. Marr was extradited to Tampa in April 2019.

“Through a collaborative investigative effort between HSI and IRS-Criminal Investigation, this sophisticated transnational money laundering organization has been dismantled,” said Timothy Westlove, Acting Deputy Special Agent for HSI Tampa.

“This sentence should serve as a warning to those who engage in nefarious activities,” said IRS Criminal Investigations Special Agent Brian Payne. “As this partnership with HSI demonstrates, we will continue to work together to bring criminals to justice. Marr’s conviction is the latest chapter in this complex international scam, which will hopefully pave the way for the healing process for all those affected by these heinous crimes.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. He was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Scruggs. Assistant United States Attorneys James Muench and Suzanne Nebesky handled the forfeiture. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs worked with law enforcement partners in Serbia to secure Marr’s arrest in Serbia and extradition to the United States.