A former South Carolina State Trooper has been indicted on a narcotics conspiracy charge in U.S. District Court related to the three area businessmen and a former Myrtle Beach police officer facing multiple federal money laundering and racketeering charges.
Former Lance Cpl. J.D. McGaha was a trooper in Troop 5, Post D, which includes Horry and Georgetown counties. He was indicted last week.
If convicted, he faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life, according to Abraham Simmons of the U.S. Department of Justice.
McGaha was fired this month by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, according to statement issued by the department.
“The termination was effective March 18 for improper conduct/conduct unbecoming a state employee,” said Roger Hughes of the Highway Patrol via email. “The SCDPS Office of Professional Responsibility began its investigation on March 17 after SCDPS was informed that McGaha was the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
McGaha is out on $50,000 unsecured bond, Simmons said. His arraignment date is set for Tuesday in San Francisco.
According to an indictment unsealed March 18, Vladimir Handl, owner of Heat Ultra Lounge; Michael Rose, former owner of The Gold Club gentleman’s club; Peter Scalise, a former co-partner in 700 Modern Grill and Bar in Georgetown; and David Gaither, a former Myrtle Beach police officer, were indicted for conspiring to conduct the affairs of a business through a pattern of racketeering involving money laundering, bank fraud, and drug trafficking, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office.
Between 2011 and the present, the U.S. Attorneys Office claims the defendants knowingly accepted more than $2.3 million that they believed either had been fraudulently diverted from a bankruptcy court proceeding or constituted proceeds from drug trafficking, and then laundered the money through their businesses, including Rose’s The Gold Clubs, whose parent company PML Clubs, Inc., is listed as a defendant.
The indictment further alleges that as part of the laundering scheme, the defendants created fraudulent invoices, contracts, and other business records to make it appear that the money they received and “cleaned” was for legitimate business transactions, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The case is sealed and details of McGaha’s alleged involvement were not immediately known Monday.
Hughes said McGaha had been with the department since 2005.
“The OPR investigation will continue into this matter,” Hughes wrote.
Read more here: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2015/03/30/4874531_former-south-carolina-state-trooper.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy