Former Georgia Department of Human Services employee, Monique Wheeler, was indicted and arrested on federal charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Wheeler, along with over 23 other individuals were indicted on March 3, 2020 for their roles in for their involvement in a large-scale fraud and money laundering operation that targeted citizens, corporations, and financial institutions throughout the United States. Business email compromise schemes, romance fraud scams, and retirement account scams, among other frauds, duped numerous victims into losing more than $30 million.

The defendants created multiple sham companies that did not have physical premises, earn legitimate income, or pay wages to employees. In turn, the defendants opened business bank accounts at multiple financial institutions to facilitate receipt of the fraudulent money. The defendants also opened personal bank accounts to receive fraudulent funds, often using false identities and victims’ identities. After funds were deposited into the defendants’ bank accounts, the money was quickly withdrawn from the accounts and circulated among the defendants.

OIG Investigator Jonelle Vernon assisted the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General with the investigation of these charges. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is prosecuting the case.