Moises Amezcua-Cardenas, 20, of Weston. Feb. 3, 2021: Theft, money laundering

Wausau Pilot & Review

A Wausau-area man is the third person to be sentenced in a money laundering scheme that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses to businesses, according to a U.S. Dept. of Justice release.

Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that 21-year-old Moises Amezcua-Cardenas, of Schofield, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 18 months in federal prison for his role in a money laundering conspiracy.  Amezcua-Cardenas pleaded guilty to the offense on Feb. 24  Because the defendant had already served that much time in custody, the sentence was considered served. 

In November and December 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, together with local law enforcement, investigated a series of thefts by fraud involving individuals who used false pretenses to convince employees of businesses to collect and deliver the businesses’ cash-on-hand to individuals who were supposedly legitimate money couriers.

Businesses large and small were targeted in the scheme and the loss to date is approximately $300,000.

Moises Amezcua-Cardenas was one of the suspects who picked up money from employee victims under the false pretenses that he was a legitimate money courier acting on behalf of the victim businesses. He also conducted wire transactions to redirect fraud proceeds back to perpetrators in Mexico.

He and his co-defendant, Mario Amezcua-Cardenas, also transported $242,980 in fraud proceeds to another co-defendant Sinval De Oliveira in Milwaukee on Dec. 2, prosecutors said. 

Co-defendant Mario Amezcua-Cardenas, who is Moises Amezcua-Cardenas’s brother, was sentenced to 2 ½ years in federal prison on May 18, 2022. Co-defendant Sinval De Oliveira was sentenced to 5 years on June 8, 2022.   All defendants were ordered to pay restitution.  

The charges against the defendants were the result of investigations conducted by U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Merrill Police Department, Wausau Police Department, Everest Metropolitan Police Department, West Allis Police Department, Stevens Point Police Department, and Marathon County Sheriff’s Dept. with special assistance from the Marathon County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith P. Ducheminprosecuted this case.