Local man sentenced on theft, money laundering charges

Bitcoin Isn’t Money, Rules US Judge in Money Laundering Case
Bitcoin Isn’t Money, Rules US Judge in Money Laundering Case

Precious Agobe, 32, of St. Louis County, was sentenced Thursday to 37 months in prison and ordered to pay $510,358.48 in restitution following a stolen identity tax fraud and money laundering scheme.

Agobe had pleaded guilty in December to three counts of theft of government property and two counts of money laundering.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri, Agobe made withdrawals three times in February 2015 from a Bank of America account that contained proceeds from fraudulently obtained federal income tax refunds. The total withdrawn from the account in February 2015 was $8,800, but the parties agreed that the loss from the fraudulently obtained federal income tax returns was between $250,000 and $550,000, according to court documents.

Then in December 2015, Agobe withdrew $3,000 from a Bank of America account that contained proceeds from a scheme to defraud a business in Kelso, Washington, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The business had been induced by fraud to transfer $47,700 from its bank account to the Bank of the West in Mission, Kansas, and then part of the funds was then transferred to the Bank of America account from which Agobe withdrew the money, officials said.

In February 2016, 21 counterfeit checks totaling $99,055, which were purported to be drawn on an account of a business in Mustang, Oklahoma, were deposited into an account at Bank of America. Agobe later withdrew $1,990 from this account. The parties agreed that the loss from this incident was $68,968, according to court documents.

Agobe appeared Thursday for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Ronnie White.

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