A Brooklyn, N.Y., man was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Harrisburg to 15 years in prison for laundering about $7 million worth of money paid by victims of international telemarketing fraud schemes, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
In July, Itohan Agho-Allen, 39, was convicted of criminal conspiracy, eight counts of wire fraud and 14 counts of money laundering in the MoneyGram fraud case, according to a news release from the prosecutor's office.
Agho-Allen was also ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution and a special assessment of $2,300, as well as three years probation when he's released from prison, the release says.
In November, the U.S. Department of Justice reached a settlement with MoneyGram that resulted in the forfeiture of $100 million, to be used to compensate victims, officials said.
The scheme: Agho-Allen was an agent of Miracle Multi-Link, a MoneyGram and Western Union outlet in Brooklyn, and was recruited to process money transfers received from fraud schemes including sweepstakes, loans, employment opportunities, persons-in-need and Internet purchases, prosecutors said.
Those happened between 2002 and 2010, and included transfers from around Pennsylvania, including York, officials said. That money was then forwarded to fraud participants as far away as Nigeria, Romania and Spain, officials said.
About 33 former MoneyGram and Western Union agents have been prosecuted in Harrisburg's federal court for involvement in such schemes, and the investigation led by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service continues, federal officials said.
David Bosch, inspector in charge of the postal inspection service in Philadelphia, said he hopes the prison time Agho-Allen faces serves as a deterrent for others "who would prey on the most vulnerable segments of our society."
"This 15-year sentence reflects the damaging impact of international mass marketing frauds against primarily U.S. citizens," he said.
Authorities are still looking for victims in the case. Anyone who believes they are the victims of such fraud should call (877) 282-2610.
— Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.