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Man found guilty in business email compromise scheme

May 20, 2022 GMT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A federal jury in North Carolina has convicted a Florida man in connection with a business email compromise scheme that defrauded law firms and other companies of more than $1 million, a federal prosecutor said.

Pierre Yvelt Almonor, 49, of Miami Gardens, Florida, was convicted of multiple charges, said U.S. Attorney Dena J. King.

According to trial evidence, witness testimony and documents filed with the court, from August 2014 through November 2017, Almonor arranged to have nearly $395,000 in real estate closing proceeds stolen through a business email compromise scheme deposited in a business account over which he exercised control, utilizing it as a “money mule” bank account.

Money mule bank accounts are accounts used by fraudsters as a means of moving fraudulently obtained funds, the news release said. Almonor then facilitated wires to Spain and South Africa totaling more than $200,000 and withdrew more than $50,000 in proceeds as compensation for his part in the conspiracy.

Almonor faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and a fine of $500,000, or twice the value of the proceeds, the news release said.