Tampa Woman Who Laundered Over $ 2 Million For International “Child Modeling” Websites Sentenced To Over Five Years In Federal Prison | USAO-MDFL

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven today sentenced Patrice Eileen Wilowski-Mevorah (53, Tampa) to five years and three months in federal prison for his involvement in a money laundering conspiracy in Link to an international Florida-based company that operated subscription sexual exploitation-based “child modeling” websites. The court also ordered Wilowski-Mevorah to forfeit $ 236,410.70.

Wilowski-Mevorah pleaded guilty on July 6, 2021.

According to court documents, Wilowski-Mevorah laundered at least $ 2.3 million for Newstar Enterprise, an internet-based company aimed at the for-profit sexual exploitation of vulnerable children under the guise of “child modeling” , through a collection of websites called Newstar. Websites. Wilowski-Mevorah joined the Newstar company around 2009 and fraudulently opened payment processing accounts and bank accounts under the guise of a bogus jewelry company. For 10 years, she regularly used the bogus company accounts to conceal the proceeds of crime from Newstar websites and transfer those proceeds to core members of Newstar Enterprise. Wilowski-Mevorah continued to launder money for the company until November 2019, when law enforcement authorities executed multiple search warrants across the United States and simultaneously seized the servers of the Newstar websites in the United States and Europe. Law enforcement officers then shut down the servers hosting Newstar’s websites.

The Newstar company and the status of the other defendants

According to court documents, founded around 2005, Newstar Enterprise built, maintained, hosted and operated Newstar’s websites on servers in the United States and abroad. To fill Newstar’s websites with content, members of Newstar Enterprise sought out, attracted, solicited and recruited men and women under the age of 18, some of whom were prepubescent, to use as “model children” for the sites. Newstar Web. Using recruited child victims, Newstar Enterprise has produced over 4.6 million sexualized images and videos for distribution and sale on Newstar’s websites. Some of these images and videos, although not nude, showed minors engaging in sexually explicit behavior. For example, images and videos sold on Newstar’s websites showed children as young as 6 years old in sexual and provocative poses, wearing police and cheerleader costumes, thong underwear, underpants. – sheer clothes, revealing swimsuits, tights and miniskirts. Most of the child victims, recruited from Ukraine, Moldova and other Eastern European countries, were particularly vulnerable due to their age, family dynamics and poverty.

The Newstar Company has maintained a membership roster for Newstar website subscribers and customers from 101 countries around the world. Images in the website galleries were freely available to the public for preview, but better access and more content required the purchase of a subscription. The sale of alleged “child modeling” content on Newstar’s websites generated more than $ 9.4 million during the conspiracy. To process, receive and distribute this money, members of Newstar Enterprise fraudulently opened merchant and bank accounts in the United States and laundered the proceeds using the bogus company.

Other members of Newstar Enterprise included Kenneth Power (58, of Weston, Florida), a senior member of Newstar Enterprise who directed and controlled its operations; Mary Lou Bjorkman (58, Lutz) who recently pleaded guilty to money laundering for Newstar Enterprise; Kenneth Power’s wife, Tatiana “Tanya” Power (41, Weston), who is awaiting trial for money laundering in connection with Newstar Enterprise; and Anthony Lee Kendall (aged 55, Mossyrock, WA), who was recently charged with laundering approximately $ 1 million for Newstar Enterprise.

The defendants have also been told that the United States intends to confiscate a total of $ 9.4 million, which is believed to be attributable to the proceeds of the offenses, in addition to real estate located in Florida.

“Wilowski-Mevorah was laundering money for a criminal enterprise that sexually exploited children.” John Condon said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge. “HSI is committed to working with our international law enforcement partners to bring to justice anyone who targets or exploits innocent children. “

These cases were investigated by Homeland Security Investigations in Tampa and the High Tech Investigation Unit of the Division of Child Exploitation and Obscenity (CEOS) of the Criminal Division. Department of Justice, with substantial assistance provided by the Homeland Security Investigations offices in Fort Lauderdale, Athens and The Hague. , US Customs and Border Protection in Sofia, Bulgaria, as well as the IRS criminal investigation in Tampa.

US Deputy Prosecutor Frank Murray of the Middle District of Florida and Prosecutor Kyle Reynolds of CEOS are continuing these cases.

This investigation benefited from the cooperation of foreign law enforcement agencies and substantial assistance from the Republic of Bulgaria, the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor’s Office and the National Investigation Service; the Republic of Moldova, General Prosecutor’s Office and National Investigation Inspectorate; Center for International Legal Assistance (IRC), North Holland Unit; the Czech Republic, the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Czech Police and the Office for International Affairs of the Ministry of Justice. The Office for Overseas Prosecution Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) provided technical assistance.

An indictment is simply a formal charge that an accused has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and each accused is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Newstar Enterprise case statuses

name

File number

Charges)

Status

Maximum penalty

Power of Tatiana

8: 21-cr-244-MSS-AAS

Conspiracy to commit money laundering; international promotion of money laundering; money laundering

Indicted,

pending trial

100 years in prison

Kenneth power

8: 21-cr-00032-SDM-AAS

Conspiracy to advertise child pornography; conspiracy to distribute child pornography

Defendant deceased; Case closed

60 years in prison

Plamen Velinov

8: 21-cr-342-VMC-SPF

Conspiracy to advertise child pornography; conspiracy to distribute child pornography

Charged, pending extradition

50 years in prison

Patrice Wilowski-Mevorah

8: 21-cr-00206-MSS-TGW

Conspiracy to commit money laundering

Pleaded guilty, sentenced to 5 years, 3 months’ imprisonment

20 years in prison

Anthony lee kendall

8: 21-cr-358-SCB-TGW

Conspiracy to commit money laundering; promotion of money laundering; money laundering

Indicted, accused deceased

100 years in prison

Marie Lou

Björkman

8: 21-cr-00227-SDM-AAS

Conspiracy to commit money laundering

Pleaded guilty, sentence pending

20 years in prison

About Margaret L. Portillo

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