North Augusta resident speaks out on Murphy Village criminal conspiracy

North Augusta resident speaks out on Murphy Village criminal conspiracy
Twenty-four members of the Irish Traveler community in North Augusta pleaded guilty in federal court. All pleading guilty to their role in the Murphy Village criminal conspiracy.

"Nobody is above the law.", says North Augusta resident, Jay Weaver.

All twenty-four defendants along with others outside their community are saying they committed a long list of crimes that include conspiracy and fraud. Many of them acting as car salesmen, insurance agents and tax preparers - using their businesses illegally to commit wire mail and wire fraud related to insurance and loan applications, food stamps, Medicaid, and tax refunds. Some even took part in transporting stolen goods over state lines. The number of crimes does not come as a surprise to Weaver who has heard stories about the group known as travelers. "I had honestly heard rumors from around the community".
Just last year in Augusta, twenty-two other people in Millage Village were indicted on similar charges.

"It just kind of makes you question do people really people care about what they are doing to other people, ya know?", explains Weaver.

Each defendant faces a fine of $250,000 and up to five years in federal prison. Weaver says he knows there are a lot of children in Murphy Village who may be affected if their parents are involved. "Harsh reality. I mean it is harsh but at the same time if you know these are the consequences do not do it."

This has been a three year investigation with numerous of local, state, and federal agencies working together.

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