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Two Raleigh Men Sentenced to Prison for Laundering Proceeds of Transnational Crime

May 2, 2024

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. – Two Raleigh, North Carolina men, Joseph Kingsley Irona and Mamady Fadima Conde, were sentenced for conspiracy to commit money laundering. Both men previously pled guilty to the charge. Irona was sentenced to 84 months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release. Conde was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment and five years of supervised release. The defendants were each ordered to pay restitution to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) in connection with the scheme.

“These defendants took advantage of benefits that hard-working Americans pay for by fraudulently obtaining identities and funneling the funds through elaborate laundering channels to obscure their trail,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “This case highlights our relentless pursuit of those who exploit financial systems and harm the citizens of Eastern North Carolina.”

“The misuse of SSA’s e-Services to defraud SSA and rightful beneficiaries and recipients will not be tolerated at any level. This sentence holds these defendants accountable for their malicious and egregious crimes,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “My office will continue to investigate those who abuse SSA programs and operations, including its e-Services, for their own selfish gain. I thank our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their diligence in investigating and prosecuting this complex case.”  

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Irona and Conde were involved in a highly complex network of bank accounts at multiple financial institutions. This network was used for laundering over $1 million criminal proceeds derived from various fraud schemes, particularly identity theft. One particularly intricate scheme involved the misuse of stolen victim identifiers to submit online applications for Social Security retirement benefits in victims’ names. After the applications were approved, the resulting payments were unlawfully deposited into accounts within the money laundering network, including accounts held by Irona and Conde. After receiving criminal proceeds, Irona and Conde took elaborate steps to dissipate the funds and obscure their source and destination. In addition to his money laundering activity, Irona was also responsible for managing multiple co-conspirators in the United States and the flow of criminal funds through their accounts in furtherance of the larger money laundering operation, including facilitating money transfers to co-conspirators in Nigeria.

A third defendant in the case, Chinedu Frances Okwuosha, was previously sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment and three of supervised release on February 22, 2024.

Michael Easley, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, investigated the case.  Assistant United States Attorney Adam F. Hulbig prosecuted the case for the government.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:22-CR-348-D.

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