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Press Release

California Man Charged with Laundering Money Obtained from Internet-Related Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A California man has been indicted for laundering money obtained from business email compromises, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Charles Singleton, 63, of Los Angeles, California, is charged by indictment with one count of money laundering conspiracy and three substantive money laundering counts.  Singleton was arrested yesterday and was scheduled to appear on Dec. 5, 2022, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen L. Stevenson in Los Angeles federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From September 2018 to August 2020, Singleton worked with conspirators to launder money obtained through business email compromises. A business email compromise is a method of wire fraud often targeting businesses or individuals working on business transactions involving high-dollar wire transactions. The fraud is carried out by compromising, hacking, or “spoofing” legitimate email accounts through social engineering or computer intrusion techniques to cause employees of a target company, or other individuals involved in legitimate business transactions, to conduct unauthorized transfers of funds, most often to accounts controlled by the fraud perpetrators.  

Singleton opened several business bank accounts in the names of companies he controlled and received proceeds of wire fraud in those accounts. Singleton and his conspirators then withdrew and transferred money from various bank accounts and shared among themselves the account information of bank accounts. Singleton also executed at least one fraudulent contract with a conspirator for a wire of $70,000. Law enforcement officials estimate that Singleton received at least $1.1 million in fraudulent proceeds. 

Each of the money laundering charges carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000, or twice the value of the funds involved in the transfer, whichever is greater.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, Woodland Park Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Farhana C. Melo of the General Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated December 6, 2022

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 22-450