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Press Release

Kirkville Man Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Michael Pupello, age 35, of Kirkville, New York, pled guilty to one count of engaging in illegal monetary transactions. 

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Thomas Fattorusso, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), New York Field Division.

Pupello admitted to distributing cocaine to customers from 2017 through October 2019 and depositing the cash proceeds from the sale of cocaine into a personal checking account and a business checking account that he maintained at JPMorgan Chase Bank.  Pupello admitted to using CashApp, a mobile phone application that allows users to make cashless payments to other users, to receive payment from several of his cocaine customers. Pupello further admitted to transferring the proceeds he received via CashApp to both of his accounts at JPMorgan Chase and withdrawing $14,000 of drug proceeds from his business checking account.

Pupello will be sentenced on July 12, 2023, before the Hon. David N. Hurd in Utica, N.Y.  The charge filed against Pupello carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of at least 3 years.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; New York State Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force, the Madison/Oneida County Sheriff Drug Task Force, and the New York State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamara Thomson is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 20, 2023

Drug Trafficking