Two Maryland Men Face Federal Indictment on Charges Related to Illegally Importing Iranian Currency and Fraudulent Wire Transfers to Purchase Currency | USAO-MD
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has handed down an indictment indicting Richard Allan Boyd, 58, and Lee Ryan Fondiller, 50, both of Eldersburg, Md., On federal charges of conspiracy to commit fraud bank and wire transfer, in connection with a program to import foreign currencies, including the Iranian rial and the Iraqi dinar, from suppliers outside the United States. Boyd is also charged with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and making false affidavits in bankruptcy proceedings. The indictment was returned on April 29, 2021 and unsealed during Boyd’s initial appearance in United States District Court in Baltimore on May 10, 2021. Fondiller first appeared on May 12, 2021. Both defendants were released pending trial.
The indictment was announced by the Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; and Special Agent in Charge Jamie Mazzone of the US Department of Transportation – Office of the Inspector General.
According to the 32-count indictment, from at least January 30, 2017 to at least October 17, 2018, Boyd, Fondiller and others conspired to defraud financial institutions to transfer funds into payment of currency notes, while distorting and concealing the true purpose of the payments.
Specifically, the indictment alleges that Boyd instigated his company, Amoyeshua Enterprises, to sell foreign currency to customers in the United States and elsewhere and accepted foreign currency orders from customers via the Internet, over the phone and over the Internet. other ways. Boyd is said to have arranged for currency shipments to the United States by making, in part, payments to foreign currency suppliers through money transfers. The indictment alleges that Boyd facilitated currency purchases by customers by accepting funds from buyers through interstate wire transfers. Boyd and Fondiller allegedly made payments to foreign currency suppliers by submitting requests and orders to banks where they held commercial accounts for international wire transfers to foreign sellers. According to the indictment, Boyd, Fondiller and others covered up the real purpose of the international wire transfers to their banks by falsely claiming that the wire transfers were for jewelry, watches and / or other items. The indictment alleges that Boyd, Fondiller and others caused fraudulent wire transfers totaling more than $ 300,000 to be sent to banks in Jordan.
As detailed in the indictment, in requesting and directing payment for foreign currency, Boyd instructed customers by email, text, and other means not to point or note to an intermediary financial institution or a payment processor that the customer’s payment was made in exchange for currency. In addition, Boyd allegedly fabricated invoices reflecting purchases of watches and jewelry in order to disguise the true purpose of the payments to his currency supplier by international wire transfer, and sent the invoices to the foreign supplier by email as false documentation of the transactions. payments.
The indictment also alleges that Boyd violated the trade embargo against the Islamic Republic of Iran (“Iran”) by importing Iranian rial banknotes between 2016 and 2018. The rial is the currency of Iran and is issued by the Central Bank of Iran, which is owned by the Iranian government. The importation of Iranian rial banknotes (“rials”) into the United States was prohibited by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) and the Iran Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (“ITSR”). The indictment alleges that between 2015 and 2018, Boyd imported Iranian rials into the United States, marketed rials through the internet and other means (including under trade names such as Amoyeshua Enterprises and BuyNewDinar.com ) and distributed rials to customers in the United States. and elsewhere.
Around February 2016, United States Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) officers stationed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City examined several packages shipped from Amman, Jordan. . Some of the packages were addressed to Boyd at his home and others were addressed to Boyd’s clients, family members and associates. CBP agents discovered that the packages contained Iranian rials. After confirming with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) that the importation of Iranian rials was banned by the IEEPA and ITSR, CBP agents seized the rials and packaging materials.
Between March and April 2016, Boyd, his clients, family members and associates received letters from CBP advising them of seizures of Iranian rials in February 2016 and stating that the importation of Iranian currency into the United States was prohibited by the United States. law. The indictment alleges that after being notified and acknowledged that the importation of Iranian rails is illegal, Boyd continued to import Iranian rials into the United States, to advertise the sale of Iranian rials on Internet, accepting orders and payments from customers for Rials, and selling and distributing Rials to customers in the United States, all without any license or authorization from OFAC.
Finally, the indictment alleges that on August 1, 2018, Boyd made false affidavits during his bankruptcy proceedings. Specifically, Boyd reportedly said he closed his currency selling business in July 2018 and had no plans to reopen the business. Additionally, Boyd reportedly said he did not try to import more Iranian currency after CBP seized the foreign exchange shipment in January 2016. In fact, Boyd brought the Iranian rial into the United States. in 2017 and 2018, and continued to lead and conduct foreign currency transactions after August 1, 2018.
If convicted, Boyd and Fondiller each face a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for conspiring to commit bank fraud and wire fraud and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison for each count of fraud by. thread affecting financial institutions. Boyd also faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for each of the 10 counts of violating international emergency economic powers law; and a maximum of five years in federal prison for each of the two counts of false oath in bankruptcy proceedings. The actual sentences for federal crimes are generally less than the maximum sentences. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account U.S. sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
An indictment is not a guilty verdict. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until his guilt has been established in subsequent criminal proceedings.
Acting US Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended HSI and the DOT OIG for their work in the investigation and thanked US Customs and Border Protection for their assistance. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant US Attorney Matthew J. Maddox, who is pursuing this case.
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