Essex County woman sentenced to two years in prison for business email scam

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced that a 31-year-old woman from Newark, Lucy Beswick, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for her involvement in a business email compromise (BEC) scheme that affected multiple corporate and individual victims nationwide.

Beswick had previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan.

Court documents reveal that Beswick and her co-conspirators participated in a BEC scheme between July 2017 and March 2018 that aimed to enrich its members financially by stealing more than $400,000 in proceeds from both individuals and corporations.

The scheme involved recruiting money mules to provide their personal identifying information for the incorporation of sham businesses with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury under their names. Beswick and her accomplices then instructed the money mules to open bank accounts under the names of the sham corporations.

As part of the scheme, Beswick and her associates also created email addresses that mimicked legitimate email addresses of supervisory employees of various victim companies, vendors that did business with those victim companies, mortgage lenders, and brokers who dealt with individual victims in connection with real estate purchases, as well as advisors and accountants who performed financial services for their clients.

They then sent emails from these addresses to several victims, requesting the payment of legitimate invoices or debts owed by the victims. These emails deceived the victims into transferring funds by wire into the bogus bank accounts.

After the victims complied with the fraudulent wiring instructions, Beswick and others quickly debited from the bank accounts they had opened and which they controlled, withdrawing thousands of dollars in cash through in-person and ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases.

They also transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen funds by wire from the bogus bank accounts to foreign bank accounts controlled by the conspirators.

Beswick was sentenced to 24 months in prison and three years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay $328,467 in restitution and $15,000 in forfeiture.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service with investigating the case leading to the sentencing. Eric A. Boden, Attorney in Charge of the Trenton Office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, represented the government.

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