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10 years in prison for $4.5 million BEC scammer who bought Ferrari to launder money – Source: www.tripwire.com

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Source: www.tripwire.com – Author: Graham Cluley

A scammer has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for laundering over US $4.5 million obtained by targeting businesses and the elderly with Business Email Compromise (BEC) and romance fraud scams.

Malachi Mullings, a 31-year-old from Sandy Springs, Georgia, was charged with opening 20 bank accounts in the name of a sham company, The Mullings Group LLC, to launder millions of dollars generated through fraudulent activity between 2019 and July 2021.

Some of the money that Mullings processed had been defrauded from “numerous individual victims” who had fallen foul of romance scams. Several of the victims targeted by the classic social-engineering trick were elderly, a group that is particularly prone to being targeted by romance scammers due to their relative vulnerability and the increased likelihood that they will have access to not insubstantial retirement savings.

Together with a group of co-conspirators, Mullings laundered funds by purchasing expensive luxury items, including expensive cars and jewellery.

Once, Mullings bought a Ferrari with $260,000 defrauded through a romance scam.

But Mullings didn’t just launder the proceeds of romance scams. Healthcare benefit programs and private companies were targeted with BEC scams, where fraudsters posed as business partners to trick organisations into wiring money into criminal-controlled bank accounts.

Fraudsters who trick the elderly into handing over their life savings have no qualms about stealing money from federal health care programs to fill their own wallets.

According to the Department of Justice, Mullings personally laundered $310,000 that was fraudulently diverted from a state Medicaid program and had been intended as reimbursement for a hospital.

As we have previously described, the most recent statistics from the FBI’s found that BEC accounted for $2.7 billion dollars in adjusted losses annually, far exceeding ransomware.

BEC attacks present a bigger danger to organisations than ever before, so it is essential that all companies understand the latest trends in Business Email Compromise and the tricks being used to dupe unsuspecting users.

Malachi Mullings pleaded guilty in January 2023 to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and seven counts of various money laundering offences. He has now been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

He will have plenty of time to mull over naming his shell company (Mullings Group) after himself, a potentially unwise decision for someone engaged in the laundering of millions of dollars.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this guest author article are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of Tripwire.

Original Post URL: https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/10-years-prison-45-million-bec-scammer-who-bought-ferrari-launder-money

Category & Tags: Business email compromise,Guest blog,Law & order,business email compromise,romance scam,Scam – Business email compromise,Guest blog,Law & order,business email compromise,romance scam,Scam

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