Bladen County Resident Sentenced for Conspiring to Launder Over $1.2 Million in Criminal Proceeds
RALEIGH – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court, United States District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced MURRAY MCNEILL TODD, age 47, of Bladenboro, North Carolina to 87 months imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. The Court also ordered TODD to pay restitution totaling $517,379.
TODD was named in a Criminal Information filed on March 5, 2019 charging him with conspiracy to commit money laundering. On April 8, 2019, TODD pled guilty to that charge.
“This case is an example of the predators targeting senior citizens all across the country and here in the Eastern District of North Carolina.” Mr. Higdon said. Todd preyed upon our older citizens and stole more than a million dollars of the victims savings, their retirement, their future. Prosecuting those who defraud our senior citizens is a top priority for the U.S. Justice Department and for federal prosecutors here in the Eastern District,” said Higdon.
According to the charging instrument, statements made in court, and other public information, TODD conspired with one or more Africa-based scammers over a multi-year period to launder over $1.2 million in criminal proceeds. The proceeds originated from various Internet-enabled fraud schemes, including elder fraud, stolen identity tax refund fraud, and payroll diversion. For example, one elder fraud victim became acquainted with an individual who purported to be a U.S. soldier stationed abroad. The individual later requested financial assistance and fraudulently induced the victim into wiring funds to TODD. Investigators also identified a significant number of payroll checks that were diverted from employers across the country—particularly, hospital organizations—into TODD’s accounts or accounts under his control. The diversion typically resulted from the compromise of the victim’s network through phishing and computer intrusion techniques. Additionally, investigators observed an extensive pattern of unlawful deposit activity associated with intercepted federal and state tax refunds.
TODD used a variety of means and methods to receive and transfer criminal proceeds in furtherance of the conspiracy. Among other things, TODD conducted transfers to international recipients in Nigeria and elsewhere through his own accounts and those connected to a wider network of “money mules.” TODD also arranged the purchase of prepaid debit cards that were loaded with criminal funds. The funds, in turn, were wired overseas.
The FBI’s offices in Raleigh, North Carolina and Lexington, Kentucky conducted the investigation in this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Adam F. Hulbig represented the government.