Federal prosecutors say a grand jury has returned indictments against 22 people on charges of fraud and conspiracy, many of whom are with an Irish Travelers group that lives in Aiken County.
A federal indictment brings 45 charges against 22 people in the Murphy Village community accused of committing several acts of financial fraud to illegally receive food stamps, health insurance and cash from life insurance policies.
The indictment also references crimes committed against “vulnerable and naïve” victims with the intent to, “obtain money by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises as part of the Enterprise.”
The indictment also claims the 22 individuals made false statements about their identity and income in order to receive SNAP benefits and Medicaid. It also states the individuals falsely represented themselves as family members of deceased individuals in order to appear on life insurance policies.Irish Travelers are a small, distinct gypsey group that is descended from Irish immigrants, but who often live in separate communities and keep some of their older customs and Gaelic language. Murphy’s Village, with its roughly 1,400 residents just outside North Augusta, is one of the larger Irish Traveler communities in the United States.
In order to deceive state officials with their various schemes the involved parties would deposit and transfer money between accounts to made it appear as if they qualified for these benefits or loans. In order to circumnavigate financial regulations funds where transferred in increments under $10,000.
“Many of the defendants are Travelers and reside in Murphy Village where they own large homes, luxury cars and expensive jewelry and clothes, which are often acquired through the fraud schemes,” the indictment states.
The charges were filed as a joint task-force of state officials from South Carolina and federal organizations under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly abbreviated as RICO charges. The indictment charges all defendants with RICO Conspiracy which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine.
The individuals included in the indictment are Hannah Carrol, Rose Mulholand, Kim Mulholland, Caroline Sherlock, Catherine Carroll, Anthony Carroll, Johnny M. Sherlock, Mary Rita Sherlock, Leslie Ann Sherlock, Jimmy J. Carroll, Mary Costello, Mary Gorman Caroll, Jimmy Gorman, Leslie Gorman, Renee Carroll, Rose S. Mulholland, Susan Sherlock, Tommy Sherlock, William Caroll, Johnny Mack, Leonard New and Angela Askew.