BOSTON (WWLP) – A Rhode Island man was arrested and charged in Boston federal court Thursday for allegedly using his accounting business to launder millions of dollars for clients involved in internet fraud schemes.
Craig Clayton, 73, of Cranston, Rhode Island has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of obstruction of justice.
According to charging documents, Clayton allegedly used his accounting and “virtual CFO” business Rochart Consulting as a front to launder proceeds of internet fraud schemes since 2019. He founded dozens of shell companies in the United States and used them to open business bank accounts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Clayton is alleged to have opened approximately 80 bank accounts through 65 different companies.
A business associate stated that allegedly Clayton said they were “money mules complicit in their [Rochart’s clients’] offenses.” In talking with an undercover officer posing as a potential client, Clayton allegedly states that several of his clients were “fugitives from justice.” Clayton also falsely told investigators and bank personnel that the shell companies were legitimate businesses. After learning he was being investigated, he allegedly attempted to obstruct the investigation by making several false statements to federal agents.
Police executed five seizure warrants on Rochart bank accounts that hold several hundred thousand dollars of money allegedly laundered and a Mercedes-Benz car that Clayton purchased.