U.S. Sentences Man To 10 Years For Laundering $4.5M In Email Scams

U.S. Sentences Man to 10 Years for Laundering $4.5M in Email Scams

Published on June 3rd, 2024

Overview Of The Case

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has sentenced 31-year-old Malachi Mullings to 10 years in prison for laundering more than $4.5 million through business email compromise (BEC) schemes and romance scams.

Mullings, from Sandy Springs, Georgia, pleaded guilty to these money laundering offenses in January 2023.

Details Of The Fraudulent Scheme

According to court documents, Mullings operated the scheme by opening 20 bank accounts under the name of a fictitious company, The Mullings Group LLC.

This company served as a front to launder the fraudulent proceeds from at least 2019 to July 2021.

The scam targeted a healthcare benefit program, private companies, and other entities, netting millions of dollars.

Additionally, romance scams targeting the elderly contributed to the ill-gotten gains.

Business Email Compromise (BEC) Explained

A BEC scam is a form of targeted cyber attack where financially motivated criminals deceive executives and employees into sending money or sensitive data to accounts under their control.

These attacks often involve compromised accounts sending phishing emails to vendors, urging them to wire transfer funds or change banking details for future payments.

Use Of Fraud Proceeds

Mullings and his co-conspirators engaged in financial transactions designed to conceal the fraud proceeds.

The funds were used to purchase luxury items, such as expensive cars and jewelry.

Notably, a Ferrari was bought after obtaining $260,000 from a romance scam.

Additional Developments: Indictment Of A Russian Citizen

In related news, a Russian citizen has been indicted in the U.S. for his role as an access broker.

Between February 2019 and May 2024, Evgeniy Doroshenko (also known as Eugene Doroshenko, FlankerWWH, and Flanker), 31, from Astrakhan, Russia, broke into corporate networks and sold initial access to other actors on cybercrime forums.

He faces charges of wire fraud and fraud related to computer activity, with each charge carrying a maximum punishment of 25 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross amount of gain or loss from the offense.

The Role Of Cybercrime Forums

The DoJ highlighted the role of cybercrime forums in facilitating criminal activities.

These online platforms enable cybercriminals to promote and engage in activities such as computer hacking and trafficking in stolen data. Doroshenko remains at large, continuing to evade justice.

This case underscores the ongoing battle against cybercrime and the efforts of law enforcement to bring perpetrators to justice.