Covid fraud: Street gang in Milwaukee allegedly stole millions to pay for murder, guns and drugs

A road gang in Milwaukee, Wisc., allegedly stole thousands and thousands of {dollars} in pandemic reduction cash that was then used to hold out a homicide and buy weapons and medicines, amongst different objects, in line with a federal indictment.

The 43-count indictment expenses 30 members of the “Wild 100s,” also referred to as the “Shark Gang,” with a litany of crimes that embody mail fraud, homicide for rent, conspiracy to promote weapons, unlawful possession of firearms together with a machine gun, and drug possession with intent to promote.

The indictment was returned by a grand jury within the U.S. District Courtroom for the Japanese District of Wisconsin and unsealed in Might.

The alleged chief of the gang, Ronnell Bowman, and one other defendant, Ronnie Jackson, had been charged with the April 2021 killing of a person named solely as N.B. in a murder-for-hire scheme.

Bowman and Jackson have pleaded not responsible. Bowman, who was arrested within the Houston space in Might, is being held in detention pending his trial. The 2 males might face life in jail if convicted.

Assistant U.S. Lawyer Laura Kwaterski advised a federal choose in Might that Bowman was the ringleader of the fraud scheme and was personally accountable for $850,000 in stolen Covid reduction cash, in line with a transcript from the defendant’s detention listening to.

The fraud strategies Bowman allegedly taught different gang members resulted within the theft of thousands and thousands of {dollars} of Covid cash, Kwaterski advised the choose through the listening to.

The indictment alleges that the “Wild 100s” filed fraudulent claims for Pandemic Unemployment Help in California and several other different states.

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The defendants used pre-loaded debit playing cards issued by the states’ unemployment packages to withdraw money from ATMs in Wisconsin, in line with the indictment. The stolen Covid money was allegedly spent to rearrange the homicide and to buy weapons, medication, jewellery, clothes and holidays, amongst different objects.

Bowman allegedly used the stolen cash to solicit the homicide and to buy a number of firearms, together with machine weapons, after which gave these weapons to others understanding they’d be used to commit violence, together with homicide, Kwaterski advised the choose through the detention listening to.

Bowman allegedly provided to pay for the homicide of a rival gang member’s mom or sister on Instagram, in line with proof introduced by Kwaterski at that listening to. As an alternative, the rival gang member’s good friend was discovered killed. Jackson was allegedly paid $10,000 to commit the homicide, in line with Kwaterski.

Bowman is suspected in two different murders-for-hire associated to a warfare with a rival gang, Kwaterski advised the choose through the detention listening to.

The breakup of the “Wild 100s” by legislation enforcement was a part of a nationwide sweep this summer season by Justice Division strike groups concentrating on $836 million in stolen Covid cash. The operation led to expenses towards 371 defendants in a variety of fraud instances.

U.S. Lawyer Common Merrick Garland established a job drive in Might 2021 to go after fraudsters who’ve stolen Covid reduction cash. Prison expenses have been filed towards greater than 3,000 individuals and over $1.4 billion in stolen cash has been recovered to this point, in line with the DOJ.

Deputy Lawyer Common Lisa Monaco stated final week that the DOJ is organising new strike groups in Colorado and New Jersey to proceed the hunt for stolen reduction cash.

“We’ll search judicial orders requiring convicted defendants to pay again each stolen greenback and we have now 20 years to comprehend these recoveries,” Monaco stated.

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