THREE WOMEN PLEAD GUILTY IN FRAUDULENT “MONEY CLEANSING” SCHEME
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gilles, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that defendants Bridgette Evans, 32, of Broward County, Pollie Evans, 36, and Olivia Evans, 22, both formerly of Texas, pled guilty on Friday, September 2, 2011, to wire and mail fraud charges in connection with their participation in a “money cleansing” scheme, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1343 and 1341.
Sentencing was scheduled for November 14, 2011 before U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas. At sentencing, the defendants face a maximum statutory term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count.
According to court documents and statements made in court, the defendants falsely represented to their victims that they had the power to detect the presence of evil spirits and get rid of these evil spirits and resulting illnesses through a religious cleansing. In this way, the defendants fraudulently induced the victims to send them thousands of dollars and expensive jewelry for the purported cleansings, promising to return the monies to them after the cleansings. In fact, however, the defendants did not return any of the victims’ monies.
U.S. Attorney Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI for their hard work in this matter. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the Royal Anguilla Police Force for their assistance. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Keene.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.