3 Mason family members plead guilty in $3M money laundering scheme

MASON, Ohio -- Three members of a Mason family pleaded guilty in a nearly $3 million money laundering scheme, the Department of Justice announced.

Patricia Stevenson, 57, and her daughter, 30-year-old Candace Stevenson, pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy Thursday, and 53-year-old Mitch Stevenson pleaded guilty last month. 

Authorities said the trio obtained the money through a fraudulent life insurance policy on a relative. Mitch Stevenson bought the policies in 2009. The applications claimed the relative was healthy, weighed 170 pounds and had an annual income of $133,000. However, the relative was actually, ill, weighed nearly 400 pounds and was unemployed, according to authorities.

When the relative died, Candace and Patricia Stevenson collected checks from the insurance company totalling more than $2.9 million. At Mitch's direction, they opened eight different bank accounts in an attempt to conceal the source of the funds, authorities said.

The family used the money to buy a $247,000 2012 Bentley GT convertible and put down $284,000 as a down payment for a Mason home. They also spent about $16,000 at World od Decor and $33,000 at Facet Jewelry.

Each of the three faces as much as 20 years in prison. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled. They have already agreed to pay back the $2.9 million to the insurance company and forfeit the Mason home.

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