Florida resident Tochukwu Abel Edeh has received a 42-month prison sentence and three years of supervised release in a Boston federal court for money laundering.
The Nigerian national, operating car dealerships and currency transfer services in Texas, Florida, and Nigeria, pleaded guilty in September 2022 to money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to conduct an unlicensed money transmitting business.
Judge Richard G. Stearns presided over the case, ordering Edeh to pay $2,590,987 in restitution and forfeit $810,966. Edeh’s illicit activities, spanning back to 2015, involved laundering money from fraudulent investment operations in Nigeria that falsely claimed to offer trading and Bitcoin investment services. Edeh utilized a network of accomplices in the U.S., along with personal and business accounts in both the U.S. and Nigeria, to launder the proceeds.
Operating without the necessary money transmitting licenses, Edeh becomes the fifth person sentenced in this case. Charles Ochi, sentenced to five years in prison in June 2023, was another participant in the scheme.
Three others convicted for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business received probation, while Vanessa Okocha, an alleged accomplice, remains at large. The sentencing announcement was made by Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy, with the case prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kriss Basil of the Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit. Special Agent Harry Chavis Jr. of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Special Agent Jodi Cohen of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division, and Michael McCarthy, Acting Director of Field Operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Boston Field Office, were also involved in the case.