19 Irish people plead not guilty to racketeering in the US

19 Irish people plead not guilty to racketeering in the US

Nineteen Irish people have pleaded not guilty to charges of racketeering in the US state of South Carolina.

It is reported the group from the well known Murphy Village have been indicted as part of an FBI investigation into widespread allegations of fraud.

In all, 22 people are named in the case and are accused of being members of a criminal organisation.

The FBI investigation alleges the accused were involved in money-laundering, illegal banking transactions, food stamp and medicaid fraud as well as other offences.

The charges carry a maximum $250,000 fine and a 20-year prison sentence.

The group are identified in court documents as a group of Irish Travellers who founded Murphy Village, which is described as an insular and isolated community.

One of the defence attorneys involved in the case Jack Swerling told reporters the defence had not yet seen the paperwork in the case.

He said: "A lot of them are related to each other so at least they have each other. They're upset; they didn’t know this was coming."


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