Local Man Pleads Guilty to Stolen Identity Tax Refund and Money Laundering Scheme
St. Louis, MO – Precious Agobe, St. Louis County, MO, pled guilty to charges involving his participation in a stolen identity tax fraud and money laundering scheme.
According to court documents, on three occasions in February 2015, Agobe made withdrawals from a Bank of America account which contained the proceeds of fraudulently obtained federal income tax refunds. The total amount of these withdrawals was $8,800. As part of the plea agreement in this case, the parties agreed that the loss from these fraudulently obtained income tax returns was between $250,000 and $550,000.
In December 2015, Agobe withdrew $3,000 from a Bank of America account which contained the proceeds of a scheme to defraud in which a business in Kelso, Washington, was induced by fraud to transfer $47,700 from its bank account to a bank account at Bank of the West, in Mission, Kansas. A portion of this money was subsequently transferred to the Bank of America account from which Agobe withdrew $3,000.
In February 2016, 21 counterfeit checks in amounts totaling $99,055 which purported to be drawn on an account of a business in Mustang, Oklahoma, at All America Bank, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, were deposited into an account at Bank of America. Agobe subsequently withdrew $1,990 from this Bank of America account. As part of the plea agreement in this case, the parties agreed that the loss from Agobe’s money laundering activity was $68,968.
Agobe pled guilty to three counts of theft of government property and two counts of money laundering before United States District Judge Ronnie L. White. Sentencing has been set for March 26, 2017.
Theft of government funds carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. Each count of money laundering carries a maximum of 20 years and/or fines up to $500,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Kelso, Washington Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Steven Muchnick is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.