New Milford Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Operating Illegal Money Remitting Business
JAN 25 - Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RENATA AMARAL, 38, of New Milford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport to six months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, the first six months of which AMARAL must serve in home confinement. Judge Hall also ordered AMARAL to pay a fine in the amount of $10,000. On October 17, 2008, AMARAL pleaded guilty to one count of operating an illegal money remitting business.
According to court documents and statements made in court, AMARAL and Monica Teixeira operated RM Insurance Services LLC of Danbury, an insurance company that catered to the Brazilian immigrant community. Between March 2006 and March 2008, AMARAL and Teixeira, through RM Insurance, also operated a money transmitting business that wire transferred cash to other states and Brazil. However, RM Insurance was not licensed under Connecticut law to operate a money transmitting business. Through this illegal business, AMARAL and Teixeira bypassed bank reporting requirements and allowed approximately $9.5 million to be wired.
As part of an undercover law enforcement operation, AMARAL and Teixeira also arranged to wire cash that was purported to be the proceeds of marijuana trafficking from a bank in Connecticut to a bank in Texas.
Teixeira also pleaded guilty to one count of operating an illegal money remitting business and, on April 28, 2009, she was sentenced to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release. In addition, she was ordered to pay a fine of $2000 and to perform 100 hours of community service.
A money transmitting business is any person or business that receives money from a customer and then, for a fee paid by the customer, transmits that money to a recipient in a place that the customer designates, usually a foreign country.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration.