United States Attorney files charges against 16 people for online fraud scheme www.privateofficer.com
LAS VEGAS NV Dec 16 2011 – The United States Attorney has filed charges against several Las Vegas residents in an alleged international online fraud scheme.
Investigators have charged 16 suspects for allegedly defrauding people online during the purchase of high ticket items like cars and boats. The suspects are charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and criminal forfeiture.
According to the indictment, suspects living outside the United States offered items for sale on sites such as Craigslist and Autotrader. The items were offered at a very low price and the seller explained that they had to sell the item because they became unemployed, were leaving for a military deployment, or had a family emergency.
The suspects then moved the purchase to eBay or Yahoo Finance, which would hold the buyers’ money until the purchased items were delivered. However, the suspects would then send fake emails looking like they were from eBay or Yahoo Finance and the victims would send funds through these false sites.
The defendants allegedly obtained more than $3 million through the scheme, which they distributed among the conspirators both inside and outside the United States.
Thirteen of the defendants were arrested in Las Vegas on Wednesday. They are 28-year-old Eduard Petroiu, 24-year-old Vladimir Budestean, 27-year-old Bertly Ellazar, 25-year-old Radu Lisnic, 25-year-old Evghenii Russu, 24-year-old Evgeny Krylov, 35-year-old Eugeni Stoytchev, 28-year-old Iavor Stoytchev, 27-year-old Christopher Castro, 23-year-old Delyana Nedyalkova, 21-year-old Oleh Rymarchuk, 25-year-old Melanie Pascua, 23-year-old Manuel Garza, 25-year-old Ryne Green, 22-year-old Michael Vales, and 20-year-old Edelin Dimitrov.
Most appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Robert J. Johnston and pleaded not guilty to the charges. One other defendant was arrested at Washington Dulles International National Airport in Virginia, There are two other defendants who have not been arrested.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 60 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million.
Anyone with information regarding these individuals is urged to call the FBI in Las Vegas at (702) 385-1281 or to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (702) 385-5555.