Former Tampa area real estate professional sentenced to 24 months for money laundering conspiracy


Date: March 24, 2023


Tampa, FL — U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven has sentenced Frank Sebastian Visicaro to 24 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering. As part of his sentence, the court also ordered Visicaro to pay restitution in the amount of $1,088,440, the proceeds of funds laundered through bank accounts he controlled. Visicaro had pleaded guilty on December 9, 2021.

According to the plea agreement, Visicaro used his real estate company, two shell companies, and bank accounts in the companies' names to launder the proceeds of an international boiler room fraud scheme, which defrauded foreign victims via the sale of worthless investments. Visicaro used the companies and bank accounts to receive fraud proceeds. Some of the fraud proceeds were wired directly from victims overseas into these accounts. More often, fraud proceeds from the victims were wired to United States-based accounts controlled by other conspirators and then later wired to accounts controlled by Visicaro. In such instances, Visicaro's accounts served as "buffer" accounts, that is, secondary bank accounts used to transfer and conceal foreign victims' money and avoid detection by banks.

In total, more than $1 million in victims' funds flowed into Visicaro-controlled accounts. Thereafter, at the direction of other conspirators, Visicaro wired most of the funds to multiple other financial institutions—held by, among others, boiler room sales agents or other conspirators—in order to promote the scheme and to conceal and disguise the source of, and to hinder any efforts to locate, those proceeds. Visicaro was compensated, via a percentage of the amount of funds he helped to launder, for his role in the conspiracy.

"We are committed to stopping transnational criminal organizations from targeting unsuspecting victims with fraudulent investment schemes that use high-pressure tactics," said HSI Tampa Assistant Special Agent in Charge John Dumas. "HSI Tampa and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) are formidable investigative partners working together with our international partners to stop these fraudsters from taking peoples' hard-earned money."

"Illegal activity involving the investment industry has brought financial ruin to many people," said IRS-CI Acting Special Agent in Charge Ronald A. Loecker. "IRS Criminal Investigation is determined to attack these fraud schemes by utilizing our forensic accounting skills and working side by side with Homeland Security Investigations and put a stop to this and other types of financial crime."

This case was investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Rachelle DesVaux Bedke and David W.A. Chee.