Michael Olaf Schutt is a twenty eight year old from Naples who has been accused of laundering millions of dollars in online poker gambling money through several bank accounts. Schutt has pled guilty to the accusations and now faces five years in prison.
Schutt decided to waive his indictment and presentation of his case on Tuesday and pled guilty to operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. Schutt was released on $100,000 unsecured signature bond by the Judge once he surrendered his two German passports and a personal identification card. Schutt had been held in county jail since February 18th.
Schutt has been released to his wife and he must remain at his mother-in-laws home until his sentencing date. The Assistant U.S. Attorney Robbery Barclift is seeking up to five years in federal prison while attorneys for Schutt are seeking probation.
In the case the FEDS has seized over $2 million dollars from Schutt’s many bank accounts, $10,000 in cash which was found at his home, two women’s rings, an Audi Quattro 7, a Porsche 911 Carrera and four Rolex watches. The Feds stated all of the above were purchased with the illegal funds.
Schutt was arrested after bank employees all across the state of Florida began getting suspicious. The employees were seeing millions of dollars going through Schutt’s accounts and customers were coming to cash checks they said were payments from an Internet Poker gambling winnings.
FedEx employees also became suspicious when 51 packages were being mailed from his home on a daily basis. Court documents state that overseas wire transfers of money were going into Schutt’s accounts and then he would obtain large numbers of cashier’s checks, write business checks and send wire transfers to customers in the United States and Canada.
Schutt has many companies in his name, over 400 in fact, and he also opened around 40 Bank of America accounts in just three years alone. Since November 2007, about $70 million was transferred to 23,000 people, most of which were from the United States.
Schutt also had numerous accounts at other financial institutions including SunTrust, Regions Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Wachovia, among many others. Many of these banks shut down Schutt’s accounts after suspicious activity and after having customers cashing checks for Internet Poker winnings.
When Schutt admitted his guilt on Tuesday he stated that did control and own all or part of several unlicensed money transmitting businesses including: MCM Capital Management Corp., MI Global Inc., South Naples Escrow Co., Southwest Florida Payroll co., Woodhouse Systems, and Mathews Trade Corp.,. All of these businesses are not registered with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation which they should be to operate as a money transmitting business.
Since Schutt is cooperating with law enforcement, his lawyers think he will be able to get probation for his offenses. However the prosecution is working hard to see that probation is not a choice for Schutt.