Anthony Dwayne King has been sentenced for laundering over $247,000, generated from business email compromise (BEC) schemes committed against Minnesota and Oregon homebuyers, a Delaware law firm, and a New Jersey company.
“King and his conspirators opened bank accounts, using fictitious identities and sham companies, for the purpose of laundering funds stolen from victims across the country through business email compromise schemes,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “Now, he is headed to federal prison and must pay full restitution to the victims. Our office will continue to work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to bring those who facilitate these cyber-fraud crimes to justice.”
“These cyber scams can be devastating to businesses and individuals who fall prey to them,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “It is a big reason why the Georgia Cyber Fraud Task Force was formed; to educate businesses and the community on how to avoid them. Arrests and convictions, like this one, will make it less lucrative and less appealing for those who contemplate committing these crimes.”
According to Acting U.S. Attorney Erskine, the charges and other information presented in court: From October 2 through 12, 2018, King opened accounts at three banks in the Atlanta area, each time using a false identity and sham company name. Shortly thereafter, on October 17, 2018, a homebuyer, located in Oregon, received a phone call from an impersonator posing as her realtor. The impersonator asked the victim homebuyer for an amount that she was able to wire that day to facilitate the closing of a home. The impersonator provided the victim with wiring instructions. Following the instructions, the victim wired $45,000 to one of King’s Atlanta bank accounts.
On November 1, 2018, another homebuyer, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, received an email from an impersonator posing as his realtor. The impersonator similarly provided this victim with wiring instructions to facilitate the closing of the property. The same day, the victim followed the impersonator’s instructions and wired $83,460.87 to an Atlanta bank account controlled by King.
On November 16, 2018, an impersonator provided a Delaware law firm with wiring instructions to send payoff funds to a mortgager. Following the impersonator’s instructions, the law firm wired $68,403.16 to another Atlanta bank account controlled by King. The next day, King made an in-person cash withdrawal of $3,800 from the account.
On February 27, 2019, a New Jersey company received an email from an impersonator posing as its landlord, instructing the company to wire $51,040.99 to the landlord for rent. The company followed the impersonator’s instructions and wired $51,040.99 to an Atlanta-based account. The next day, King deposited a check from this account, in the amount of $9,572, into his personal credit union account.
Anthony Dwayne King, 39, of Atlanta, Georgia, has been sentenced to two years, six months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $124,190.63. King was convicted of money laundering conspiracy on December 16, 2020, after he pleaded guilty.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Herskowitz, Chief of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section, prosecuted the case.
By making a coordinated and concerted effort to focus on suspects moving fraud proceeds in the metro-Atlanta area, the Cyber Fraud Task Force, comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, seeks to disrupt the financial structure that makes BEC fraud schemes so lucrative for criminals. Additionally, the task force aims to partner with community leaders and organizers to educate the public about avoiding these scams.
This is a press release from US Department of Justice.