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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Melbourne Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Money Mule Activities

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. has sentenced Joseph Daniel Harrison (43, Melbourne) to 12 months and 1 day in federal prison for participating in a wire fraud conspiracy. Harrison had pleaded guilty on February 1, 2021.

According to court documents, between September 2018 and May 2020, Harrison acted as a “money mule” for individuals believed to be located overseas who were defrauding victims. Money mules are individuals who receive and move money obtained from victims of fraud. Harrison assisted in the fraud by receiving fraud proceeds in his personal and business bank accounts. Harrison then transferred most of the fraud proceeds to other members of the conspiracy, while keeping some funds for his own use. The types of fraud through which Harrison’s co-conspirators obtained the funds included COVID-19 related unemployment fraud on the State of Washington, email compromise fraud on a school district in Illinois, email compromise fraud on businesses in Maryland, Texas, and Virginia, and romance fraud on a victim in California.

The amount of fraud proceeds that were routed through bank accounts controlled by Harrison totaled $2,091,576.50.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Secret Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Chauncey A. Bratt and Jennifer Harrington.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated May 25, 2021