Charlotte man called ‘Goo’ gets prison in fraud scheme to steal $1.3 million

Jamel Ski Yates, better known as “Goo,” was sentenced this week by U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. to 36 months in prison for trying to steal more than $1.3 million from Charlotteans through unauthorized wire transfers.

Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, said Yates, 43, was also ordered to serve two years under court supervision upon completion of his prison term and to pay $251,146 as restitution.

Yates’ co-defendant, Anthony Shawn Wilkerson, 46, of East Point, Georgia, was also sentenced to a year and a day in prison, followed by two years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $251,146 as restitution. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud charges for his role in the conspiracy.

Five other defendants who conspired with Yates in the scheme have been sentenced to date: Shaka Stayman got 84 months in prison; Dural Samuels got 28 months; Barry Shade got 12 months; Abiola O. Oginni was given one year and a day and Dwayne A. Reynolds got three years probation.

From January 2010 through January 2011, Yates and his co-conspirators engaged in a wire fraud scheme by unlawfully accessing multiple customer accounts maintained by a financial services company located in Charlotte.

Court records show that Yates was the insider who stole personally identifiable information of approximately 90 customers of the victim company, and provided that information to Samuels.

Samuels used his network of co-conspirators, which included Stayman, Shade, Oginni, Wilkerson and Reynolds, to withdraw funds from the compromised victim company accounts and then deposit the stolen funds into the co-conspirators’ own bank accounts or the bank accounts of other individuals (also known as “money mule accounts”).

The co-conspirators attempted to withdraw more than $1.3 million from the compromised customer accounts by executing multiple wire transfers ranging from $6,000 to $48,000. They then deposited the stolen funds into the money mule accounts and retrieved it through multiple cash withdrawals. The co-conspirators were able to steal more over $300,000 through their wire fraud scheme.

Yates and Wilkerson will be ordered to report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility to begin serving their prison terms. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole. The investigation was led by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas O’Malley, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.