Convicted money launderer pleads guilty to business email compromise scheme

Crime

BOSTON (USDOJ) – A Hingham man who was previously convicted of money laundering pleaded guilty today in connection with a business email compromise (BEC) scheme.

Yannick A. Minang, 27, pleaded guilty five counts of wire fraud, one count of unlawful monetary transactions and one count of money laundering conspiracy. U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Sarris scheduled sentencing for Dec. 16, 2020.

In September 2019, Minang was sentenced to 46 months in prison after pleading guilty to his role in a separate business email compromise (BEC) scheme.

Minang conspired with others to open numerous bank accounts in Massachusetts in the name of sham companies, as part of an apparent BEC scheme. A BEC scheme is a sophisticated scam often targeting businesses involved in wire transfer payments. The fraud is carried out by compromising and/or “spoofing” legitimate business email accounts through social engineering or computer intrusion techniques to cause employees of the victim company (or other individuals involved in legitimate business transactions) to transfer funds to accounts controlled by the scammers.

Through the use of fraudulent invoices and spoofed email accounts, Minang conspired to trick the victims of the scheme into wiring hundreds of thousands of dollars to bank accounts under his control. Minang and his co-conspirators then transferred funds from the accounts to others located overseas.

The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross grain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of unlawful monetary transactions provides for a sentence up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross grain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of money laundering conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $500,000 or twice the amount involved in the transaction, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Brady of Lelling’s Criminal Division and Jordi de Llano, Deputy Chief of Lelling’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit, are prosecuting the case.

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