Hingham Man Gets 46 Months in International Money Laundering Scheme

Business email compromise scheme targeted real estate buyers...

BOSTON - A Hingham man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with an international money laundering scheme.  

Yannick A. Minang, 26, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor to 46 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and forfeiture and restitution – each in the amount of $465,616. In January 2019, Minang pleaded guilty to a five-count indictment charging international money laundering, structuring, unlawful monetary transactions, concealment money laundering, and false statements.

In 2017, Minang opened, and caused to be opened, bank accounts in the names of sole proprietorship businesses as part of a business email compromise (BEC) scheme that targeted individuals about to purchase real estate. Generally, a BEC scheme is a sophisticated scam which targets businesses involved in wire transfer payments. The fraud is carried out by compromising and/or “spoofing” legitimate business email accounts through social engineering or computer intrusion techniques to cause individuals to transfer funds to accounts controlled by the scammers.

Minang’s scheme worked as follows: shortly before closing on properties, the victims received emails from their real estate agents or title companies containing wiring instructions that directed the victims to send funds to accounts that Minang and others had opened and controlled. The emails, however, were spoofed – made to appear to be coming from title company representatives and real estate agents, when in fact they were sent from email accounts created solely to carry out the fraud. After each deposit of fraudulent proceeds, the funds were wired to bank accounts abroad or withdrawn via structured cash withdrawals. 

Earlier this year, Minang was charged in a separate federal indictment in connection with a similar, but different, business email compromise scheme. It is alleged that Minang committed that crime while charges in this case were pending. 

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordi de Llano, Deputy Chief of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit, prosecuted the case.

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