Justice Department Announces Landmark Money Mule Initiative
The United States Department of Justice
Attorney General William P. Barr and law enforcement partners today announced a concentrated effort across the country and around the world to halt money mule activity. Money mules assist fraud schemes by receiving money from victims, many of them elderly, and forwarding proceeds to foreign-based perpetrators. During the two-month initiative announced today, U.S. law enforcement disrupted mule networks that spanned from Hawaii to Florida and from Alaska to Maine. Actions were taken to halt the conduct of over 600 domestic money mules, exceeding a similar effort against approximately 400 mules last year. The Department of Justice also tripled the number of criminal prosecutions brought against money mules as compared to last year’s initiative.
Attorney General Barr thanked the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch for coordinating the effort. The coordinators recruited a broad coalition of law enforcement partners, including the U.S. Secret Service, the IRS Criminal Investigation, the Department of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, and the Office of the Attorneys General for the States of Indiana and Wyoming. The U.S. initiative coincided with the European Money Mule Action (EMMA), https://www.europol.europa.eu/activities-services/public-awareness-and-prevention-guides/money-muling, a simultaneous global effort to halt money mule activity announced by Europol today.