BOSTON – A Lynn man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with receiving and laundering approximately $1.4 million fraudulently obtained from a Korean company.
Chukwuemeka Eze, 37, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin to 51 months in prison, five years of supervised release and ordered to pay $862,823 in restitution. In November 2019, Eze pleaded guilty to bank fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft. Eze was arrested in June 2019 and has been held in federal custody since that time.
Eze admitted that he used a victim’s name, date of birth and Social Security number without permission to open bank accounts in the victim’s name and in the name of a fictitious Massachusetts corporation that Eze created, Levistronix GMB Ltd. Eze selected the name for Levistronix because of its similarity to Levitronix GmbH, an actual Swiss company. In May and June 2018, others involved in the scheme sent fake Levitronix invoices totaling approximately $1.4 million to a Korean company that was a Levitronix customer. The fake invoices directed the company to send the $1.4 million to Eze’s deceptively-named Massachusetts bank account.
When Eze received the money, he withdrew cash, and spent tens of thousands of dollars on retail purchases, including Apple laptops and Zales’ jewelry. He also purchased $700,000 in bank checks payable to other fictitious companies that he controlled, which he deposited into bank accounts in those companies’ names. Eze in turn made cash withdrawals, retail purchases and wire transfers from those bank accounts, all to conceal the fact that the money was the proceeds of the fraud scheme. In doing so, Eze spent or disbursed more than $862,000 of the Korean company’s money.
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 Seth B. Kosto of Lelling’s Cybercrime Unit prosecuted the case.