Tuesday, April 24, 2018
News Roundup

Texas woman gets a year in federal prison for role in Pinellas-based money laundering scheme

TAMPA — A Texas woman was sentenced to a year in federal prison Friday for her role in a corporate identity theft scheme that had money laundering functions headquartered in Pinellas County.

Nicolette Loisel, 56, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge James S. Moody to serve 36 months of supervised release for her conviction on a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

A jury found Loisel guilty of the charge earlier this year along with Roger Lee Shoss in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Both Houston-based lawyers, Loisel and Shoss conspired from February 2005 to July 2006 to steal the identities of dormant publicly traded companies and use them to create shell corporations that they would later sell, federal authorities said. Four companies were sold to a man named Lawrence S. Hartman, and ultimately used in a sophisticated investment fraud and money laundering scheme based in Pinellas County.

The scheme involved multiple wire transfers originating in Pinellas County and given to Shoss, totaling at least $800,000, as payment for the companies. Shoss then gave Loisel $450,000.

The plot was later uncovered by Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Secret Service.

Shoss was sentenced earlier this year to 18 months in federal prison followed by 36 months of home confinement. Loisel and Shoss were also both ordered to pay back the $800,000 profit they made from the scheme.

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