Kalispell woman admits she runs a money mule business and sends money abroad |  USAO-MT

Kalispell woman admits she runs a money mule business and sends money abroad | USAO-MT

MISSOULA – A Kalispell woman accused of running a money mule business in which she collected money from various fraud schemes in the United States and then sent the money abroad for a fee recognized today, US attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Theresa Anne Chabot, 57, pleaded guilty to transferring money to businesses without a license. Chabot faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided. A sentencing date was set for January 5, 2023 for U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen. The court will determine any penalty after considering US sentencing guidelines and other legal factors. Chabot was released pending further proceedings.

A plea agreement filed in the case recommends that 29 other charges indicted in one indictment be dismissed upon conviction, that Chabot be responsible for the full restitution estimated by the government at approximately $5.2 million, and that Chabot forfeits a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe.

The government alleged in court documents that from approximately May 2017 to February 2021, through her company, Avalanche Creek, LLC, Chabot had raised funds from various wire transfers in the United States into its bank accounts. In doing so, Chabot operated as a money-transferring company and had to register Avalanche Creek with the Treasury Department. The government further alleged that Chabot had opened more than 50 bank accounts. Banks closed numerous accounts after assessing the activity, and at least 15 banks immediately informed Chabot that the accounts were being closed for fraud, violation of banking policy and other abuse. Despite the repeated bank account closures, Chabot would open new bank accounts through which she could receive proceeds. Chabot received compensation, which in some cases totaled about 10 percent of the proceeds deposited into her bank accounts. Chabot would then forward the remaining funds abroad, including to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

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