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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

South Florida Resident Sentenced To 71 Months in Prison After Stealing about $2 million from Texas School District

Key West, Fl. – Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Dallas Field Office, announced that Donald Howard Conkright, 63, a resident of the Florida Keys, was sentenced to 71 months in prison for laundering about $2,000,000 of a school district’s money.

Conkright was sentenced after a Key West jury found him guilty on March 4, 2020, of conspiring to commit money laundering and money laundering. At trial, the government proved that through an elaborate business email compromise, the defendant obtained about $2,000,000 from a Texas School District intended for the ongoing construction of a new elementary school.  Based on the fraudulent emails, the victim sent the $2,000,000 to the Defendant’s bank account.  As soon as the victim’s money hit the Defendant’s bank account, the Defendant began to spend and conceal the money. He purchased Rolex watches, Apple products, and even a $128,000 BMW, among other transactions. The Defendant also withdrew tens of thousands of dollars from the account and wired hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the country. In addition, he sent $70,000 worth of computers to Nigeria. The evidence at trial also demonstrated that the Defendant had laundered and attempted to launder other victims’ money as part of the same conspiracy between 2017 and 2019.

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lindsey Lazopoulos Friedman and Yisel Valdes prosecuted the case.  AUSA Nicole Grosnoff handled asset forfeiture.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated June 10, 2020