Tampa, Florida – US District Judge Mary S. Scriven has sentenced Rachael Maia Winslow (55, Roswell, GA) to 11 years and 3 months in prison for conspiracy to launder money. Winslow was also ordered to withhold $747,608.81 in funds from victim investors seized from two bank accounts she used during the conspiracy. A federal jury found Winslow guilty in November 2022.
According to testimonies and evidence presented in court, Winslow was a member of an international money laundering conspiracy generated through boiler room fraud. The boiler houses sold the foreign victims what they believed to be legitimate investments, mostly stocks or shares in reputable companies like Facebook, Chesapeake Energy, or Toys R Us. In fact, the investments were worthless, and the boiler houses defrauded victims of more than $14 million during the time Winslow was involved, at least $4.7 million of which went through Winslow-controlled accounts.
Winslow formed shell companies in various states and then opened bank accounts in the names of those shell companies to collect fraud proceeds from victim investors. The proceeds of the fraud were then sent back abroad and used to pay for expenses and boiler room workers, and to otherwise sustain the plan. Fraud proceeds were also transferred to accounts controlled by co-conspirators in the money laundering operation in the United States and abroad, including Winslow’s overseas accounts, to compensate them for their role in the conspiracy and otherwise for personal gain. Winslow participated in this program while living in Barcelona, Spain and in Miami, Florida.
Statements and evidence presented at trial also proved certain assets that the United States forfeited from Winslow, specifically $525,595.62 seized from an account in the name of Guardian Holdings, LLC, and $222,013.19 -Dollars seized from an account held in the name of First Assured Contact, LLC are attributable to the proceeds of the crime.
“This sophisticated international money laundering conspiracy scheme has defrauded many victims of more than $14 million in hard-earned cash,” said John Dumas, assistant special counsel for the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Tampa. “This conviction is a signal that HSI, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, along with our many law enforcement partners, will not be deterred in pursuing these fraudsters.”
“This case illustrates the complex international schemes that scammers design and employ to defraud and profit from unsuspecting victims,” said Brian Payne, special agent in charge of IRS Criminal Investigation at the Tampa Field Office. “IRS-CI and our multi-agency partners are committed to leveraging our technology and financial investigations expertise to find and bring these criminals to justice, regardless of where they operate.”
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and United States Customs and Border Protection. The indictment was brought by Assistant US Attorneys Rachelle DesVaux Bedke and David WA Chee.