Grand Jury Charges Family of 3 with Money Laundering

A federal grand jury has charged a father, mother and daughter in a 33-count indictment returned here on June 22 that alleges the family members conspired to and actually laundered nearly USD3 million.

Parents Mitch G. Stevenson, 53, and Patricia Stevenson, 57, and their daughter Candace G. Stevenson, 30, all of Mason, Ohio, were charged with conspiring to launder money and money laundering.

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, announced the indictment that was unsealed yesterday. The indictment alleges that in 2009 two life-insurance policies were fraudulently purchased insuring another relative for a combined USD2.9 million.

The policy applications falsely stated that the relative had never been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure or ulcers, among other conditions, and that the relative had not had any medication in the 12 months before the application was prepared. The defendants reported the person’s weight as 170 pounds, when in actuality the person’s true weight was approximately 375 to 400 pounds.

As part of the application process for the life insurance, a medical examination was required.

“In early February 2009, an unknown individual in Sugar Land, Texas, who met the description in the applications, represented herself as the relative at the examination and was weighed at 176 pounds,” said U.S. Attorney Glassman. “Three weeks earlier, the actual relative was weighed in a Cincinnati emergency room at 387 pounds.”

In early 2011, amendments were made to the owners and beneficiaries of the two policies to name Patricia and Candace Stevenson. One year later, the relative died and West Coast Life Insurance Company issued a USD1.5 million check to Patricia Stevenson and a USD1.4 million check to Candace Stevenson.

The defendants then engaged in a complex sequence of transactions allegedly designed to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the proceeds of the life-insurance fraud.

They also purchased a 2012 Bentley GT Convertible for approximately USD247,000 and used approximately USD284,000 as a down payment on a land contract on a home in Mason, Ohio. Other transactions included approximately USD16,000 to World of Decor and nearly USD33,000 to Facet Jewelry.

Money laundering conspiracy is a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison and money laundering carries a potential maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the IRS Criminal Investigation, and Assistant United States Attorney Peter K. Glenn-Applegate, who is prosecuting the case.

An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.