FBI agents here linked a series of complicated financial scams to an organized crime ring that started as a fraternal organization.

TAMPA — It started with a complaint about a clever check-fraud scam that had bilked a small Georgia law firm out of nearly $100,000. The money wound up in a bank account in Tampa but then vanished into other accounts overseas, spurring the interest of local FBI agents.

What followed was an investigation that has stretched on now for six years, ensnared 13 defendants and uprooted a complex international fraud scheme responsible for losses in excess of $10 million, agents and federal prosecutors say.

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