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Press Release

Third Conspirator Pleads Guilty in Nearly $600,000 Charity Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Fuquay-Varina man pled guilty to devising and executing a scheme to defraud the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (“PCS”) by conspiring to fraudulently obtain matching charitable contributions for the Boys and Girls Succeed (“BAGS”) organization. Dwayne Moorer West, age 60, faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced later this year. Two of West’s co-conspirators pled guilty to the same charges on January 23, 2024, and are also facing up to 20 years behind bars.

“Many companies encourage their employees to support local charities by matching their employees’ charitable contributions.  This defendant recruited PSC employees to make fake donations to his charity so he could fraudulently secure over a half-million dollars in matching funds from PSC.  He then paid kickbacks to the employees,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley.  “This defendant was driven by greed to take advantage of a charitable program meant to help those in need.  He now faces federal prison.”

According to documents and information presented in court, Dwayne Moorer West owned BAGS, an organization that provided services to boys and girls in Wake County. Between 2010 and 2018, West conspired with Michael Lavern King, a PCS employee, and Martin Fareed Abdullah, a BAGS employee, to fraudulently obtain matched charitable contributions from PCS. To carry out this scheme, King and Abdullah solicited multiple PCS employees to aid and assist in the fraud. West obtained bank checks that fraudulently showed large charitable donations from each PCS employee to the BAGS foundation. The fraudulent checks were then used as donation receipts for submission to PCS as part of their matching charitable program. The PCS employees never made charitable donations to BAGS. Instead, they received a quarterly kickback from West, Abdullah, and King for the use of their employee information. In total, PCS matched nearly $600,000 in fraudulently obtained contributions to BAGS.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle accepted the plea. The United States Postal Inspection Service are investigating the case and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa K. Labresh is prosecuting the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:23-CR-00091-BO.

Updated March 5, 2024

Financial Fraud