The Secret Service and the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office seized more than $2 million from a money laundering scheme run by an illegal online gambling ring, officials said Thursday.
The investigation centered around two foreign-based companies, Prime Investment and Trading 24/7, which sent more than $40 million into the United States. Officials said the companies processed gambling proceeds for the online poker industry.
In a statement, U.S. District Attorney Bill Nettles said the fake investment groups were “shell companies used to transfer large amounts of money into the United States and to hide the true sources of their funds.”
The money was tied to payouts to players in South Carolina and other states. Officials did not say what role sheriff’s deputies had in the investigation.
Under federal sharing rules, the sheriff’s department is able to keep $707,000 of the seized funds. “The good thing about it is, anytime we are granted large sums of money, it saves the taxpayers money,” Sheriff Steve Loftis said.
Nettles said the operation tracked the scheme from October 2010 through February.