Washington County Man Pleads Guilty In Money Laundering Scheme
PITTSBURGH - A Monessen resident has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of money laundering, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Steven Mensah Yawson, 37, pleaded guilty to 10 counts before United States District Judge Gustave Diamond.
In connection with the guilty plea, in 2012, Yawson conspired with others to steal identities which were later used to open credit cards and to purchase merchandise and gift cards in Western Pennsylvania. Yawson wired proceeds from the fraud to an individual in Accra, Ghana.
Judge Diamond scheduled the sentencing for Feb. 18, 2015 at 10 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than 20 years in prison and $500,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Western Pennsylvania Financial Crimes Task Force (WPFCTF), conducted this investigation. The WPFCTF was established as a collaborative, multi-agency effort to effectively combat financial crimes, including identity fraud, in Western Pennsylvania. Partnering in this effort are the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office, the Allegheny County Police Department, the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Pennsylvania State Police.