Greenwood Woman Pleads Guilty to Money Transmission Crime
Contact Person: Bill Watkins (864) 282-2100
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Linda B. Massey, age 70, of Greenwood, pled guilty yesterday in federal court in Greenville, to operating an illegal money transmission business, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1960. United States District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks, of Charleston accepted the plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that a co-conspirator, who is currently believed to be residing on the Indian subcontinent, contacted Linda Massey and told her he needed someone in the US to open a bank account, receive payments, and send money to him in India. He told Massey she could keep 10 percent of the funds collected if she transmitted the 90 percent to him. He instructed her on creating a limited liability company known as Prime Technologies. She agreed to work with him.
Operatives from a call center in India then contacted American citizens over the telephone or through a pop-up advertisement appearing on victims’ computers, convinced them that their computers were infected with a virus, and then installed worthless or malicious software on the computers to “fix” the problem. The computer owners paid for these services by sending a check made out to Prime Technologies to an address controlled by Massey. Massey deposited the checks and wired a portion of the monies to India.
Law enforcement estimates that the losses to the victims exceed $500,000.
Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty Massey can receive is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment for 5 years, plus a special assessment of $100.
The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office handled the case.