United States v. Nkome, No. 18-3261 (10th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Prior to her arrest in May 2017, Defendant-Appellant Gladys Nkome participated in an international “advance-fee” conspiracy managed by individuals located in the Republic of Cameroon. The Cameroon-based organizers created websites that purportedly sold legal and illegal goods. They convinced prospective online buyers to wire purchase money to fictitious U.S.-based sellers. A U.S.-based individual posing as a seller (a so-called “money mule”) would retrieve the wired money, take a percentage, and send the remainder overseas to the conspiracy’s organizers. The buyers would never receive the items that they sought to purchase. For approximately thirteen months, Ms. Nkome used at least thirty-five (35) fraudulent identities to collect $357,078.74 in wire transfers connected to the conspiracy. Nkome challenged the district court’s denial of a mitigating-role adjustment under United States Sentencing Guideline section 3B1.2. After careful consideration of Ms. Nkome’s arguments, the Tenth Circuit concluded that the district court did not err.