By Shereen Siewert

Two brothers from the Wausau area are facing federal money laundering charges after being indicted this week by a grand jury in Madison, according to a U.S. Dept. of Justice news release.

Mario Amezcua-Cardenas, 27, and Moises Amezcua-Cardenas, 20, both of Rothschild, are charged with conspiring to commit money laundering involving the proceeds of a fraud scheme targeting businesses in Wisconsin and elsewhere. 

The indictment alleges that from November to December 2020, the two defendants conspired to launder the proceeds of a scheme involving unknown perpetrators who operated from Mexico and convinced employees of businesses to collect and deliver the businesses’ cash-on-hand to the defendants by posing as company attorneys, store managers, or upper management from a corporate office. 

As part of the conspiracy, the two defendants allegedly used financial transactions to transfer the fraud proceeds to others.  The indictment alleges that in December 2020, the defendants collected $242,980 from a retail store located in the Western District of Wisconsin and transferred the funds to an individual in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

If convicted, Mario Amezcua-Cardenas and Moises Amezcua-Cardenas face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. 

The charge against them is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Marathon and Portage County Sheriffs’ Offices; the Merrill, Everest Metropolitan, Stevens Point, Wausau, Rib Mountain, Plover, Rothschild, and West Allis Police Departments; with assistance by the Marathon County District Attorney’s Office. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Duchemin is handling the prosecution.