MIAMI-Following a three-day trial, a federal jury found Donald Howard Conkright, 63, of Key West, Florida, guilty for his role in laundering more than $2 million that was stolen from a Texas school district.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of
Florida, and Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau
of Investigation (FBI), Dallas Field Office, made the announcement.
According to the evidence presented at trial, a spoofed email was
used to trick a Texas school district into sending approximately $2
million to a bank account that Conkright controlled. The school district
had that money earmarked for the construction of a new elementary
Once the $2 million hit the bank account, Conkright began to spend
and conceal the money. He purchased $70,000 worth of Rolex watches, over
$13,000 at Apple stores, and a $128,000 BMW, among other transactions.
Conkright also withdrew more than $60,000 in cash from the account, in
increments below $10,000. He wired out of the country about $875,000,
and sent over $70,000 worth of computers to Nigeria. In addition to
laundering the school district’s money, there was evidence presented at
trial that Conkright had laundered, and attempted to launder, other
victims’ money as part of the same conspiracy between 2017 and 2019.
The jury found Conkright guilty of conspiring to commit money
laundering and substantive money laundering. Sentencing is scheduled in
Key West, Florida for May 11, 2020.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of
the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lindsey Lazopoulos Friedman and Yisel
Valdes prosecuted the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Grosnoff is
handling asset forfeiture.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website
of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.