Man sentenced for laundering over $4.5m obtained from business email compromise and romance fraud schemes


Date: May 21, 2024


A Georgia man was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for laundering more than $4.5 million derived from business email compromise (BEC) schemes, including a scheme that defrauded a health care benefit program, and romance fraud schemes.

According to court documents and evidence presented at sentencing, Malachi Mullings of Sandy Springs, opened 20 bank accounts in the name of a sham company, The Mullings Group LLC. From at least 2019 through July 2021, Mullings used those accounts to launder millions of dollars of fraud proceeds generated by BEC schemes targeting, among others, a health care benefit program and private companies, and romance fraud schemes targeting numerous individual victims, several of whom were elderly. Together with his co-conspirators, Mullings engaged in financial transactions designed to conceal the fraud proceeds and used some of the proceeds to purchase luxury items, such as expensive cars and jewelry. In one instance, Mullings laundered $310,000 that was fraudulently diverted from a state Medicaid program and had been intended as reimbursement for a hospital. In another instance, Mullings obtained $260,000 from a romance scam, which Mullings used to purchase a Ferrari.

Mullings pleaded guilty in January 2023 to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and seven counts of various money laundering offenses.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan for the Northern District of Georgia; Special Agent in Charge Demetrius D. Hardeman of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS CI) Atlanta Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Linda T. Hanley of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Kansas City Region; Assistant Director Michael Nordwall of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division; and Special Agent in Charge Eugene S. Kowel of the FBI Omaha Field Office made the announcement.

IRS CI, HHS-OIG, and the FBI investigated the case.

Trial Attorneys Gary Winters and Chris Wenger of the National Rapid Response Strike Force of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Connors for the Northern District of Georgia prosecuted the case.

The Fraud Section leads the Criminal Division’s efforts to combat health care fraud through the Health Care Fraud Strike Force Program. Since March 2007, this program, currently comprised of nine strike forces operating in 27 federal districts, has charged more than 5,400 defendants who collectively have billed federal health care programs and private insurers more than $27 billion. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, are taking steps to hold providers accountable for their involvement in health care fraud schemes.

CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft and more. CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, obtaining a more than a 90 percent federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad.