Waterloo woman was alleged money mule

The United States has filed a civil lawsuit against a Waterloo woman after she allegedly continued to move money for scammers following warnings to stop from federal law enforcement officers.

Janice M. Augustine, 74, is facing a civil lawsuit for her alleged involvement as a money mule. She was recruited to participate in the scheme by an individual claiming to be an American working abroad who was in search of a romantic relationship.

“Criminals scour online dating and social media websites looking for lonely or vulnerable people to exploit. Oftentimes, criminals exploit elderly or vulnerable victims by tricking them into believing they are interested in a romantic relationship. But other times, the criminals persuade elderly or vulnerable people into helping them launder the money they receive by defrauding others,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “Southern Illinois is not immune to these scams. Residents should be wary of anyone who asks them to receive and transfer money for them.”

For more information, please see this week’s print edition.