District of Columbia Man Sentenced to 56 Months in Prison for Fraud, Money Laundering, and Identity Theft Schemes
Schemes Caused More Than $1.5 Million in Losses
WASHINGTON – Jamar Skeete, 38, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 56 months in prison on federal charges stemming from his years-long role in at least four business e-mail compromise fraud and money laundering schemes that caused more than $1.5 million in intended losses.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Greg L. Torbenson, U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge for the Washington Division, U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Skeete pleaded guilty on Nov. 15, 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to one count of money laundering, one count of identity theft, and two counts of wire fraud. On the same date, he also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud in a case that was originally indicted in the Southern District of New York and transferred to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for plea and sentencing. He was sentenced in both cases by the Honorable District Judge John D. Bates. Following his prison term, Skeete will be placed on three years of supervised release. He also must pay combined restitution judgments in the two cases totaling $697,836, and forfeiture money judgments totaling $381,387.
According to the statements of offense acknowledged by Skeete, between September 2017 and June 2019, Skeete received and laundered the proceeds of at least four separate business e-mail compromise schemes targeting the City of Flint, Michigan, an Illinois-based company operating senior care facilities, and other businesses. Skeete used two stolen identities and multiple fraudulent shell company accounts to receive and launder the proceeds of the business e-mail compromise schemes in the District of Columbia and elsewhere. He also assumed an address used in two of the schemes by submitting a fraudulent “hold mail” request to the U.S. Postal Service. In the schemes originally charged in the Southern District of New York, Skeete conspired with 14 other individuals to launder other fraud proceeds out of a fraudulent shell company account. All told, Skeete participating in diverting and laundering more than $1.5 million
In a business e-mail compromise (or BEC) scheme, conspirators infiltrate the computer systems of a victim company through phishing attacks or otherwise. Once there, they impersonate the victim’s business partners and, claiming a change in bank accounts, trick the victim into sending payments not to business partners, but to the conspirator’s bank accounts.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Washington Division, with assistance provided FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-Office of Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher B. Brown, with assistance from Paralegal Specialists Michon Tart and former Paralegal Specialist C. Rosalind Pressley. Significant assistance was also provided by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander Li and Thomas Burnett of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.