A man admitted he laundered more than $800,000 in a “grandparent scam” that fooled U.S. seniors into sending money to young relatives that thought were in trouble, was sentenced Thursday to four and a half years in federal prison.
Stephan Moskwyn,33, a Canadian citizen, has been incarcerated since October. Moskwyn plead guilty to a money laundering charge in Miami federal court. Investigators said he knowingly laundered money obtained by a Canadian calling center that victimized elderly U.S. residents since 2014.
Employees at the call center phoned potential victims all over the United States and pretended they were relatives, usually grandchildren, who had been hospitalized, or jailed and needed money, according to Homeland Security Investigations agents.
Some of the victims who fell for the hoax were instructed to send money orders that were later cashed in the Dominican Republic, Chile and other countries, according to prosecutors. Other victims were told to send virtual money orders, or Moneypaks; and those were converted into Bitcoin.
Moskwyn’s role in the crime involved him using complicated financial transactions using money orders, and pre-paid debit cards in the U.S. to convert some