Gaylord Man Accused of Being “Money Mule” for International Scammers

A Gaylord man could face several years in prison, police say he was involved in an international crime-ring.

James Chalmers was arrested on Friday after a year-long investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Chalmers is charged with several crimes, including racketeering.

At his arraignment on Monday, he pleaded not guilty and was released on a personal recognizance bond.

9&10 News went down to his home to see what he has to say about the accusations, no one answered, so we dug deeper.

We obtained a copy of the search warrant from DHS Investigations. In it, federal agents accuse Chalmers of being a “money mule.”

A middle man between those who get scammed on the phone and online, and those reaping the benefits overseas.

Police say Chalmers had multiple bank accounts including one at Fifth-Third Bank, where he held a pre-paid debit card.

According to police it at one point was filled-up close to $20,000, those funds were eventually withdrawn overseas.

Homeland security special agents say over a period of five years Chalmers also received and sent more than $100,000 in wire transfers of which, close to 95 percent ended up in Nigeria and South Africa.

Investigators say he was banned by MoneyGram and Western Union for fraudulent activity and had multiple bank accounts closed for similar reasons.

Police say the victims in this case are U.S. Citizens, but are not necessarily from this area.

Chalmers is due back in court later this month.