Covington Woman, Ritchel Morehead Charged with Wire Fraud, Money Laundering, and False Statements
NEW ORLEANS, LA (STL.News) U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that RITCHEL MOREHEAD, age 39, from Covington, Louisiana, was indicted for wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements to a federal agent, all stemming from a fake investment scheme.
The government filed a nine-count indictment that charged MOREHEAD with seven counts of wire fraud, from December 2018 through February 2019. According to the indictment, MOREHEAD used a corporation, Chel Corporation, to defraud six victims by embezzling a total of $460,000 that was supposed to cover fees, costs, and down payments for multi-million dollar loans, when in fact MOREHEAD spent the funds on personal expenses, such as jewelry and a vehicle, and transferred cash to accounts overseas. MOREHEAD is charged with one count of money laundering, for transferring the proceeds of the scheme to bank accounts in the Philippines, and one count of lying to federal agents about whether she had sent or received any funds by wire transfer.
U.S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that an indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted of these charges, MOREHEAD faces up to twenty years in prison, followed by up to three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain to MOREHEAD or the gross loss to any victims and a special assessment fees of $100 per count.
U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Secret Service, and the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas D. Moses is in charge of the prosecution.