Canton Woman Pleads Guilty to Role in BEC Scheme
Defendant is second person convicted in connection with business email compromise scheme
BOSTON – A Canton woman pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with a business email compromise (BEC) scheme.
Bintu Toure, 26, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled sentencing for April 16, 2021. Toure was charged in September 2019 for her role in the scheme.
Toure is the second individual to be convicted in connection with this scheme, following the guilty plea of Yannick Minang a/k/a “Africa” last year.
Toure conspired with others to open numerous bank accounts in Massachusetts in the name of sham companies, as part of a BEC scheme. A BEC scheme is a sophisticated scam often targeting businesses involved in wire transfer payments. The fraud is carried out by compromising and/or “spoofing” legitimate business email accounts through social engineering or computer intrusion techniques, to cause employees of the victim company (or other individuals involved in legitimate business transactions) to transfer funds to accounts controlled by the scammers.
Through the use of fraudulent invoices and spoofed email accounts, Toure conspired to trick the victims of the scheme into wiring hundreds of thousands of dollars to bank accounts under her control. Toure and her co-conspirators then transferred funds from the accounts on to others located overseas.
The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of money laundering conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $500,000 or twice the amount involved in the transaction, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Brady, of Lelling’s Criminal Division and Jordi de Llano, Deputy Chief of Lelling’s Securities & Financial Fraud Unit, are prosecuting the case.