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US Fed Investigates Florida Man in Money Laundering Probe Tied to Online Gambling

by AintLuck.com Poker Team

A new report out of Naples Florida and the Naples News says the Fed has been investigating a Florida man in an alleged money laundering scheme tied to online gambling. Bank Tellers and managers saw millions of dollars going in and out of Michael Olaf Schuett’s bank accounts. Full Story here:

Bank employees began getting suspicious when they saw many large checks issued by a Naples man’s company, according to an ongoing federal investigation.

When questioned, customers cashing them explained the MCM Capital Management checks were payments from Internet Poker gambling winnings.

When bank tellers and managers saw millions of dollars in wire transfers going in and out of Michael Olaf Schuett’s bank accounts, many shut down accounts for the hundreds of companies he owns after discovering they were linked to gambling, federal documents say.

For FedEx employees, it was the roughly 51 packages being mailed daily from his Chesapeake Avenue home that made them question what the 29-year-old was doing there.

“Federal Express employees became suspicious of Schuett’s activity when Schuett began mailing over 150 parcels per week,” says a federal complaint alleging Schuett is involved in money laundering. “FedEx employees opened several of the parcels and determined that each contained a check.”

Those are the allegations outlined in a 39-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Fort Myers, that shows Schuett is the target of a federal investigation.

Schuett, also known as Schütt, a German national whose visa expires in April, is being held without bond in Lee County jail after a federal judge ruled Monday he was a flight risk.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Polster Chappell cited his limited ties to this country, that he’d been married only a month to a woman he’d known for nine months, that he lives in Germany, and has no employment ties here.

“The court further takes into account the amount of money involved in the alleged crime and the number of bank accounts used to conduct the scheme,” Polster Chappell wrote in her ruling, citing 40 accounts opened at Bank of America.

In denying bond, she also pointed out Schuett was planning to purchase a house using illegal funds. “The house was going to be put in only the defendant’s new wife’s name,” she wrote.

Federal investigators seek to seize nine bank accounts Shuett holds under his name and company names: MCM Capital Management Corp.; MI Global Inc.; South Naples Escrow Co.; Southwest Florida Payroll Co.; Woodhouse Systems; Mathew’s Trade Corp; and Internet Payment Services Group Inc.

As of Feb. 12, the complaint says, there was $2.13 million left in accounts at Bank of America, Ironstone, SunTrust, Regions Bank, BB&T, Iberia Bank and Royal Bank of Canada.

Schuett’s federal public defender, Frank Zaremba, could not be reached for comment. Phone numbers listed for Schuett have been disconnected.

The condominium Schuett lived in is owned by Jean and Kenneth Nitsche. Jean Nitsche declined comment on Schuett.

Collier County records show Schuett’s new wife is Jennifer Sherman, 28. She could not be reached for comment.

In the complaint, Special Agent Nicholas J. Menster of the U.S. Secret Service, asked the judge to allow funds to be credited to Schuett’s bank accounts, but to prohibit payouts for 14 days from when a search warrant is issued.

Federal agents asked to search Schuett’s home and seize computers and his Powership Federal Express shipping device, which would provide evidence showing where packages were shipped. Feds also seek to seize a 2009 Audi Quattro, three expensive Rolex watches, cash and other property they contend were purchased with illegally gained funds.

The complaint says Schuett’s car, whose tag is USAG24 — in the name of one company he operates — was purchased for $23,487.20 at Audi of Naples in December. Schuett bought the watches at Mayors Jewelers at Coconut Point Mall in Estero, reports say.

The complaint says Schuett incorporated numerous companies in Naples, Tampa and Bradenton. State incorporation records show that through USAG24, he’s the officer and registered agent for 424 businesses, but he owns others under his name.

However, the state Bureau of Financial Investigations said Schuett has never registered as a money transmitting business, which prevents money laundering. The complaint shows the amount of money involved would be a first-degree felony.

More: http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2010/feb/28/feds-investigate-naples-man-money-laundering-probe/

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