WASHINGTON – Raekwon Malik Harrod, 24, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty today to fraudulently using the UPS accounts of two American companies to create shipping labels, which he and another conspirator sold online. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Acting Special Agent in Charge David Geist of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division.
Harrod pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, which has a statutory maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment. As part of his plea agreement, Harrod must pay restitution to the two companies. He also will be liable for a forfeiture money judgment for proceeds he received as a result of the scheme. U.S. District Court Judge Ana C. Reyes, who accepted Harrod’s guilty plea in the District of Columbia, scheduled sentencing for June 18, 2024.
In his plea agreement, Harrod admitted that no later than 2020, a California co-conspirator gained access to one company’s UPS account and provided Harrod with the account’s log-in credentials. Harrod provided the credentials to a Maryland co-conspirator. Initially, Harrod and the Maryland co-conspirator, who both re-sold shoes online, used the account to create UPS shipping labels to mail the shoes that they sold, which reduced their shipping costs to zero. The California co-conspirator intended that they use the account in this manner. However, in late 2020, Harrod and the Maryland co-conspirator decided to use the account to sell UPS shipping labels to third parties. They advertised the service online and each created thousands of UPS labels using the compromised account. Harrod acknowledged that the fraudulent use of the company’s account caused the company to lose more than $900,000.
In late July 2021, Harrod and the Maryland co-conspirator lost access to the account, prompting them to tell the California co-conspirator that they had been selling labels using the account. The California co-conspirator requested that they pay him $120,000, which Harrod and the Maryland co-conspirator understood would be used to compensate the person who gave the California man access to the account. Thus, in August 2021, Harrod and the Maryland co-conspirator withdrew nearly $70,000 in cash and flew with the money to Los Angeles, where they gave the proceeds to the California co-conspirator. When they were in California, they withdrew another $50,000 in cash and provided it to the California co-conspirator as well.
Eventually, the California co-conspirator secured access to a second American company’s UPS account, which he provided to Harrod and the Maryland co-conspirator. The two men then resumed selling UPS shipping labels online, this time with direct involvement and knowledge of the California co-conspirator.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kondi Kleinman with the assistance of paralegal specialist Sonalika Chaturvedi. Former paralegal specialist Michon Tart and former Financial Analyst Bryan Snitselaar also assisted with the investigation.