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Tampa Man Guilty Of Money Laundering

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)--Sebastian Visicaro (62, Trinity) today pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the plea agreement, Visicaro used his real estate company, two shell companies, and bank accounts in the companies' names to launder the proceeds of an international boiler room fraud scheme, which defrauded foreign victims via the sale of worthless investments. Visicaro used the companies and bank accounts to receive fraud proceeds, some of which victims wired directly into these accounts from overseas. More often, fraud proceeds from the victims were wired to United States-based accounts controlled by other conspirators and then later wired to accounts controlled by Visicaro. In such instances, Visicaro's accounts served as "buffer" accounts, that is, secondary bank accounts used to transfer and conceal foreign victims' money and avoid detection by banks.

In total, at least $500,000, and potentially as much as $1.5 million, in victims' funds flowed into Visicaro-controlled accounts. Thereafter, at the direction of other conspirators, Visicaro wired most of the funds to accounts held by boiler room sales agents and co-conspirators at other financial institutions—thereby promoting the scheme, concealing the source of the proceeds, and hindering efforts to locate those proceeds. For his role in the conspiracy, Visicaro received a percentage of the amount of funds he helped to launder.

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