A federal grand jury returned an indictment against four people – Akil Erickson, 26, of Orlando, Florida, and Mikiel Robin, 21, of the British Virgin Islands and two as-yet unidentified suspects – charging them with international money-laundering and bulk cash smuggling, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.
The indictment also alleges that each defendant made false statements to Customs and Border Protection officers.
According to the indictment, in or about October 2018, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy with other persons to transport United States currency from the British Virgin Islands to the United States while knowingly avoiding U.S. currency reporting requirements for reporting bulk cash exceeding $10,000. The indictment alleges that the cash was proceeds from the illegal sale of drugs and that the defendants were aware of the money’s origin.
According to the indictment, each defendant falsely stated that he was not carrying in excess of $10,000 from the British Virgin Islands to the United States. The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation of $138,000.
Robin and Erickson appeared for arraignment on Thursday before federal Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller and entered pleas of not guilty to the charges. The other two defendant, who were unidentified as of Friday afternoon, remain at large.
Trial is scheduled for July 29.
The defendants face as much as 20 years imprisonment and a fine of as much as $500,000 for money-laundering, up to five years imprisonment for each count of bulk cash smuggling and up to five years imprisonment for making a false statement to a federal law enforcement officer.
The case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. It is being
prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Everard E. Potter.