In October 2021, Wanda Baker pled guilty to engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, approximately 1 month after co-conspirator Olayinka Agboola plead guilty to the same charge. Sentencing is pending. A year earlier (October 2020), Barker, Agboola, and Linda Johnson were indicted for using a business email compromise scheme to defraud the Department. OIG and FBI special agents determined the individuals tricked the Department and a non-profit agency into wiring at least $575,000 into bank accounts they controlled for the purpose of enriching themselves and their co-conspirators.
U.S. vs. Johnson et al.
A second indictment related to BEC fraud charges Linda Dianne Johnson, 70, of Charlotte, Wanda Jackson Barker, 71, of Athens, Texas, and Olayinka Agboola, 54, of Chicago, Illinois, with conspiracy to commit money laundering. Johnson is also charged with two counts of conducting financial transactions with illegal proceeds.
The indictment was returned on September 16, 2020, and was unsealed earlier this week. According to allegations in the indictment, Johnson, Barker, and Agboola operated as money mules and conspired to launder at least $575,000 derived from a fraudulent BEC scheme. The indictment alleges that the co-conspirators tricked the United States Department of State and a non-profit agency into wiring proceeds into bank accounts controlled by Johnson. Upon receipt of the fraud proceeds, Johnson, Barker, and Agboola executed financial transactions for the purpose of enriching themselves and their co-conspirators.
Johnson is set to appear in court in Charlotte on October 22, 2020. Barker’s initial appearance has been set for November 9, 2020. Agboola has not been arrested yet.
The money laundering conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Johnson faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each charge of conducting financial transactions with illegal proceeds.
The charges in the indictments are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the investigating efforts of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the FBI, and U.S. Department of State, Office of the Inspector General, which led to the indictments.