Detroit Man Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Conspiracy

May 20, 2013 Updated May 20, 2013 at 5:52 PM EDT

By Mitch Simon

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Detroit Man Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Conspiracy

May 20, 2013 Updated May 20, 2013 at 5:52 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A Detroit man has plead guilty in a Buffalo Courthouse of money laundering conspiracy.

U.S. Attorney William Hochul announced today that 32-year-old Carl Faheem Muhammad pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to launder over $183,000. Muhammad is scheduled to be sentenced on September 11th and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

According to attorneys, Muhammad directed eight other Detroit area residents to receive payments from victims who had applied for loans over the Internet with seemingly legitimate financial lenders which were in fact virtual companies being operated by online scammers in Canada. After wire transfers from the victims were received in Detroit, Muhammad transported the funds to the scammers in Canada.

The victims, some of whom were from Western New York, were led to believe that once they paid the up-front fees, they would receive the loan proceeds. The victims never received the loans or a refund of their payments. To date, defrauded victims have lost more than $3.5 million to the loan scheme, and approximately 2,700 victims of the fraud have been identified by law enforcement.

A total of 21 people have been arrested in connection with this fraud scheme.