ST. THOMAS — A federal grand jury returned an indictment against individuals including Akil Erickson, 26, of Orlando, Florida and Mikiel Robin, 21, of the British Virgin Islands, charging them with international money-laundering and bulk cash smuggling, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced Friday. The indictment also alleges that each defendant made false statements to Customs and Border Protection officers.
According to the indictment, in or about October of 2018, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy with other persons to transport United States currency from the British Virgin Islands to the United States while knowingly avoiding U.S. currency reporting requirements for reporting bulk cash exceeding $10,000. The indictment alleges that the cash was proceeds from the illegal sale of drugs and that the defendants were aware of the money’s origin. According to the indictment, each defendant falsely stated that he was not carrying in excess of $10,000 from the British Virgin Islands to the United States. The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation of $138,000.
Robin and Akil Erickson appeared for arraignment on June 13, 2019, before Federal Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller and entered pleas of not guilty to the charges, the other two defendant, who remain unidentified at this moment, remain at large. Trial is scheduled for July 29, 2019.
Defendants face up to twenty years imprisonment and a fine of up to $500,000 for money- laundering; up to five years imprisonment for each count of bulk cash smuggling; and up to five years imprisonment for making a false statement to a federal law enforcement officer.
United States Attorney Shappert reminds the public that an indictment is merely a formalcharging document and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Everard E. Potter.