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Murray Todd sentenced for conspiring to launder over $1.2 million

Murray McNeill Todd of Bladenboro was sentenced Friday to more than seven years in prison for his role in a money laundering scheme, U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon Jr. announced.

Todd, 47, pled guilty in April to conspiracy to commit money laundering. He was sentenced in federal court in Raleigh to 87 months in custody followed by three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. Todd also was ordered to pay $517,379 in restitution.

“This case is an example of the predators targeting senior citizens all across the country and here in the Eastern District of North Carolina.” Higdon said. “Todd preyed upon our older citizens and stole more than a million dollars of the victims savings, their retirement, their future. Prosecuting those who defraud our senior citizens is a top priority for the U.S. Justice Department and for federal prosecutors here in the Eastern District.”

According to the charges, statements made in court and other public information, Todd conspired with one or more Africa-based scammers over a multi-year period to launder over $1.2 million. The proceeds originated from various Internet-enabled fraud schemes, including elder fraud, stolen identity tax refund fraud and payroll diversion.

For example, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office, one elderly fraud victim became acquainted with an individual who purported to be a U.S. soldier stationed abroad. The individual later requested financial assistance and fraudulently induced the victim into wiring funds to Todd.

Investigators also identified a significant number of payroll checks that were diverted from employers across the country — particularly, hospital organizations — into Todd’s accounts or accounts under his control. The diversion typically resulted from the compromise of the victim’s network through phishing and computer intrusion techniques.

Additionally, investigators observed an extensive pattern of unlawful deposit activity associated with intercepted federal and state tax refunds.

Todd used a variety of means and methods to receive and transfer money as part of the conspiracy, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Among other things, Todd conducted transfers to international recipients in Nigeria and elsewhere through his own accounts and those connected to a wider network of “money mules.”

Todd also arranged the purchase of prepaid debit cards that were loaded with funds acquired unlawfully. The funds, in turn, were wired overseas.

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