Waterloo Police arrest 18 people involved in money-laundering scheme

April 2, 2014 | 4:48 pm

A money laundering scam that started in 2008 is finally coming to a close, after police started arrested 18 people.

The group, consisting of relatives, friends and friends of friends defrauded two banks and two credit unions out of more than $125,000, according to Waterloo Police.

Captain Tim Pillack said police investigators along with the Postal INspection Service worked together to connect all of the people and bank accounts involved.  He said the Postal Service was involved because the group tried to buy postal money orders to help launder the money.

Pillack said money laundering is an effort to hide or conceal money and its origins from authorities.  He said most often thios group would write checks on newly opened accounts, and write out more money than actually existed in the account.  Banks routinely cash checks without having the money in hand from the original check.  Police say this group abused the time from when a bank loaned out the money, to when it actually got paid.

Pillack said after investigators arrested each suspect, another name would come up. That list eventually grew to the 18 currently arrested.  Pillack said they still have a few more names on their arrest list.

Members of this group face felony charges including first-degree theft.  Pillack said that could carry a sentence from two to ten years in prison, depending on what prosecutors decide.

Arrested were:

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