Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Texas Man Sentenced To 48 Months In Prison For Laundering Proceeds Of Multimillion Dollar Business Email Compromise Scheme
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that TERRY FORMER was sentenced this afternoon to 48 months in prison in connection with the laundering of more than $2.2 million in proceeds of a business email compromise scheme. FORMER pled guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud on April 2, 2021, before U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel, who imposed today’s sentence.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Terry Former played an essential role in a scheme to defraud businesses, by organizing a team of co-conspirators to open shell company bank accounts to accept the victims’ funds and clandestinely transfer them to the fraudsters. Today’s sentence demonstrates the severe consequences that will befall those who facilitate criminal conduct by laundering its proceeds.”
According to the Indictment and other public filings in the case:
From at least in or about October 2018 through at least in or about October 2019, TERRY FORMER participated in a scheme to defraud businesses and by impersonating individuals and businesses in the course of otherwise ordinary financial transactions, thereby fraudulently inducing counterparties to those transactions to transfer funds to bank accounts controlled by FORMER and his co-conspirators (the “Scheme”). FORMER was one of the primary individuals responsible for coordinating the money side of the Scheme. In particular, he directed co-conspirators to open up bank accounts in the names of shell companies, which were purposefully chosen to mirror the names of the true counterparties in the business transactions that were targeted by the Scheme. FORMER also coordinated between the individuals involved in impersonating the true counterparties and the individuals holding the bank accounts to let them know when the accounts would be funded and to funnel the money out of those accounts once received .
In reliance on the foregoing false and misleading misrepresentations, one of the victims of the Scheme wired more than $2.2 million into a fraudulent bank account opened at FORMER’s direction. FORMER and his co-conspirators, knowing the money represented fraud proceeds, transferred a portion of those fraud proceeds out of the fraudulent bank account in transactions designed to conceal and disguise their source, ownership, and control. FORMER’s efforts to drain the account completely were stopped only when the bank froze the funds.
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FORMER, 46, of Texas, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release.
Mr. Williams praised the work of Homeland Security Investigations for their investigative efforts and ongoing support and assistance with the case. The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Emily Deininger and Tara La Morte are in charge of the prosecution.