NEW JERSEY – Authorities say a massive money laundering scheme was busted. The investigation out of South Jersey was nine months in the making.
The simple storefront with blacked out windows off busy Route 130 in Cinnaminson doesn’t look like much, but authorities say the single story building surrounded by high tech surveillance cameras was really home base for a $100 million money laundering operation.
“The did a lot to fortify that place to protect against anybody that would break in and rob them,” Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said.
Investigators say Maia Consulting was allegedly set up to conceal payments to undocumented workers on construction projects up and down the east coast.
The goal was to avoid taxes, pay lower workers compensation premiums and to hide the fact that they were illegally employing undocumented works,” Coffina said.
The illegal scheme was uncovered by some sharp Cinnaminson police officers during a break in here last November.
“When they responded they noticed an unusual amount of cash and cash counting equipment within the business,” Coffina said.
Police arrested Renato Maia Da Silva, Wesley Dos Santos and Lucas Alves.
Police say all three are in the country illegally from Brazil.
When investigators hit the place and several banks accounts they confiscated nearly $500,000 in cash, 9 cars, 3 motorcycles and a collection of 30 high end watches, including Rolexes, according to authorities.