ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal jury convicted two individuals yesterday on charges of money laundering as part of a business email compromise (BEC) scheme.
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Onyewuchi Victor Ibeh, 33, of Mitchellville, Maryland, and Jason Eugene Joyner, 42, of Hyattsville, Maryland, participated in a scheme to launder the proceeds of a BEC scheme. In this scheme, conspirators infiltrate the computer systems of a victim company, including their email servers and email accounts, through phishing attacks or the use of malware. Once there, the conspirators impersonate the victim’s business partner and claim the business partner’s bank account information has changed. Intending to send the money to the business partner, the victim business instead sends the money to bank accounts controlled by the conspirators.
The defendants and their coconspirators laundered over $13 million fraudulently obtained from numerous victim businesses—including five who testified at trial—as a result of a scheme. The co-conspirators laundered the proceeds of the scheme through various financial transactions using dozens of bank accounts that they directly and indirectly controlled. Joyner’s role in the scheme was to withdraw the proceeds of the fraud in cash, which he delivered to other conspirators, including Ibeh. Ibeh’s role in the scheme was to manage the money laundering by causing conspirators to open bank accounts, which he used to wire money domestically and internationally. Ibeh spent the proceeds of the fraud on luxury items, including a custom jewelry piece costing close to $40,000.
Ibeh and Joyner conspired with, among others, Anthony Ayeah and Mouaaz Elkhebri, both of whom have also been convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Ibeh and Joyner were convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering. Ibeh and Joyner each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on November 4, 2022. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Michael Ray, Inspector in Charge of Cybercrime and National Security of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Matthew Stohler, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton accepted the verdict.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hood, Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell Carlberg, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Bagwell are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:21-cr-200.