owner of a real estate company faces 20 years in prison for money laundering | Business Observer
TAMPA – Pasco County man faces 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to using his real estate company, two shell companies and bank accounts on behalf of the companies to launder money from international fraud in boiler room material.
Frank Sebastian Visicaro, 62, also agreed to cooperate with federal authorities and confiscate his assets, according to the plea agreement that was filed on December 2 and approved by a federal judge in Tampa on Thursday, December 9.
According to the plea agreement, between March 2009 and December 2013, Visicaro “helped perpetuate an international wire fraud scheme” that saw between $ 500,000 and $ 1.5 million pass through the accounts he owned.
The money came from a boiler room system that tricked the victims into sending them money for bogus investments. When the person was convinced to invest, they would be asked to wire money for the investment as well as the fees and expenses.
The money would go into the bank accounts of shell companies and other businesses controlled by the conspirators. Visicaro used his real estate company – Buy and Sell Real Estate Inc. – and two shell companies – Buy and Sell Realty and Investment LLC and Clear View Group LLC – to launder the money, according to the agreement.
In some cases, the money was transferred directly to accounts controlled by Visicaro. More often than not, the money was wired to his co-conspirators, then re-wired to his accounts, which acted as a kind of buffer, making it easier to conceal. He would then send the money to those who worked in the boiler rooms and to his accomplices.
Visicaro received a percentage of the funds for its work.
He was arrested on May 27, 2020. Court documents do not reveal how much he earned from his part of the scheme.
A sentencing date has been set for April 26. (A press release from the U.S. Department of Justice says no date has been set, but the clerk’s minutes from the December 9 hearing show the sentencing date of April 26.)
According to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation website, there is a Frank S. Visicaro in Pasco County with an active real estate sales associate’s license until March.