Western Union Agent Sentenced for Money Laundering

Itohan Agho-Allen, 39, was sentenced on Tuesday to 15 years in federal prison for his role in a scheme involving a money-transfer station in Pennsylvania.  He was convicted by a federal jury in Harrisburg of criminal conspiracy, eight counts of wire fraud, and 14 counts of money laundering.  Chief United States Court District Judge Christopher C. Conner also ordered Agho-Allen to pay restitution of $2,371,688, a special assessment of $2,300, and to serve three years of supervised release.

Between 2002 and November 2010, money transfers originating in locations in Pennsylvania, including Lebanon, York, Bloomsburg, Berwick, Hazleton, Chambersburg, East Stroudsburg and Montoursville, were transmitted through facilities to fraud participants in Brooklyn, Spain, Romania, Canada and Nigeria. Funds totaling over $7 million were obtained from hundreds of victims throughout the United States through telemarketing schemes that falsely promises financial rewards.

Evidence showed that Agho-Allen entered fraudulent entered identifying information into the MoneyGram or Western Union computer systems to disguise the true nature of the transaction and the identities perpetrating the frauds.  He received between 10-15 percent for each transaction.

Thirty-three other former MoneyGram and Western Union agents have been prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Harrisburg. Several of them chose to testify as government witnesses at Agho-Allen’s trial.

The case is part of an ongoing investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The United States Department of Justice reached a settlement with MoneyGram in November of 2012 which resulted in the forfeiture of $100 million to be used to compensate thousands of victims.

 

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