Missouri man sentenced to two years in prison for N-95 mask scam and PPP fraud

Prison Sentence

United States District Court Judge Ronnie L. White on Tuesday sentenced Prince Vamboi, 40, to two years in prison for committing $212,848 worth of fraud including an N-95 mask scam and a $18,750 fraudulent loan through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Vamboi opened multiple bank accounts in the St. Louis area in 2019 using aliases and counterfeit identification documents that he then used to facilitate a series of frauds, his plea agreement says.

In 2019, he deposited a $35,098 check that had been altered to replace the name of a Texas company with the name of one of Vamboi’s companies.

In 2020, a Vamboi co-conspirator convinced a Wisconsin company to send $159,000 to a Vamboi-controlled bank account to pay for N-95 masks. The company, Verona Safety Supply, never received the masks.

In 2021, Vamboi fraudulently obtained a loan for $18,750 through the Paycheck Protection Program, which was intended to help companies avoid layoffs. He also deposited fraudulently-obtained unemployment insurance benefits from the state of Washington.

“The United States Postal Inspection Service and its law enforcement partners will aggressively investigate those who deal in checks stolen from the U.S. Mail as part of their fraud schemes,” said Inspector in Charge William Hedrick, head of the Inspection Service’s Chicago Division, which includes the St. Louis Field Office.

Vamboi pleaded guilty on February 22 to three felony counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one bank fraud count.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  Assistant United States Attorney Diane Klocke prosecuted the case.