Nigerian National Convicted in Federal Court of Conspiracy to Launder Proceeds of Internet Fraud Schemes
WILMINGTON, Del. – A federal indictment was unsealed today charging Angel Mendez, a resident of New Jersey, with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to the indictment, between July 2020 and January 2021, defendant Angel Mendez, 33, conspired with other persons to launder millions of dollars of illicit proceeds derived from Business Email Compromise (“BEC”) schemes. A BEC is a type of internet fraud that occurs when an employee of a company is fooled into interacting with an email message that appears to be, but is not, legitimate. Criminal actors use such schemes to defraud companies into sending large payments to their criminal organization instead of the intended legitimate recipient.
Specifically, the Indictment alleges that Mendez laundered money that derived from two separate BECs: a fraud perpetrated on “Victim A” and a fraud perpetrated on “Victim B.” The Indictment alleges that bank accounts controlled by Mendez received, and subsequently laundered or attempted to launder, over $2.1 million fraudulently obtained from “Victim A” and over $1.2 million fraudulently obtained from “Victim B.”
Mendez is charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office, made the announcement. The FBI Baltimore Cyber Task Force also assisted with this investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jesse S. Wenger and Samuel S. Frey are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the District of Delaware or on PACER by searching for Case No. 23-44.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.