SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that the former owners of a money transmitter service business located in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, have been sentenced in federal court in Scranton by United States District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani.
According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, German Ossa-Rocha, age 50, and Mirela Desouza, age 46, the former owners of Tropical Express, a money transmitter service business, conspired together and with others, to utilize their business in order to transfer the proceeds of unlawful criminal activity to the Dominican Republic.
Ossa-Rocha was sentenced on October 25, 2016, to serve 27 months in federal prison, followed by a two-year term of supervised release. Desouza was sentenced on October 26, 2016, to serve 18 months in federal prison, followed by a two-year term of supervised release.
The charges were the result of a drug trafficking investigation conducted jointly by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. The investigation revealed that beginning in approximately January of 2008 and continuing through December 2011, Ossa-Rocha and Desouza structured financial transactions that represented the proceeds of drug trafficking in a manner intended to avoid reporting and recording requirements under State and Federal law. The amount of funds involved in the structuring was approximately $340,000. The funds were transmitted by Ossa-Rocha and Desouza via wire transfers to the Dominican Republic.
Ossa-Rocha was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 9, 2015. Desouza waived indictment by a grand jury and pleaded guilty to a felony information on June 11, 2015.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.