By Shereen Siewert

A pair of brothers living in Weston are accused of bilking at least seven businesses out of a combined $285,000 in an alleged money laundering scam.

Mario Amezcua-Cardenas, 27 and Moises Amezcua-Cardena, 20 appeared Wednesday in Marathon County Circuit Court and were each ordered held on a half-million dollar cash bond.

Mario Amezcua-Cardenas faces two counts of theft by false representation between $5,000 and $10,000; two counts of theft by false representation between $10,000 and $100,000; a single count of theft by false representation greater than $100,000; and knowingly organizing, initiating, financing or facilitating money laundering greater than $100,000, as party to a crime.

Moises Amezcua-Cardena faces single counts of theft by false representation between $10,000 and $100,000; theft by false representation greater than $100,000; and knowingly organizing, initiating, financing or facilitating money laundering greater than $100,000, as party to a crime.

Few details have been released about the charges. On Wednesday, Circuit Judge Suzanne O’Neill agreed to seal the criminal complaint for reasons that are not clear.

Court documents list the victims as Walmart in Rib Mountain, Dave’s County Market in Merrill, Pick ‘n’ Save, West Allis; The Store, of Stevens Point; AmericInn, Weston; McDonald’s, Weston and the R-Store, Wausau.

Both men will appear in court Feb. 10 for a preliminary hearing.