US, others smash global cyberfraud ring

Dec 05, 2012
A lady works on her computer at a coffee shop in July 2012 in New York City. US officials said they had taken down a global cyberfraud ring and charged six Romanians and one Albanian in a scheme selling non-existent goods on the Web.

US officials said Wednesday they had taken down a global cyberfraud ring and charged six Romanians and one Albanian in a scheme selling non-existent goods on the Web.

The Justice Department said the scheme, which netted an estimated $3 million, used ads on websites including , Cars.com and others for automobiles, motorcycles, boats and other high-value items, priced in the $10,000 to $45,000 range.

The fraud enabled the defendants to collect money after sending fake certificates of title and other information to buyers.

Arrests were made at the request of the United States in Britain, Canada, the Czech Republic and Romania, the Justice Department said. requests are pending.

A unsealed in New York charged Romanian nationals Emil Butoi, 34; Aurel Cojorcaru, 43; Nicolae Ghebosila, 43; Cristea Mircea, 30; Ion Pieptea, 36; and Nicolae Simion, 37; along with Albanian national Fabian Meme, 42, each with one count of wire fraud conspiracy and other charges.

One of the cases involved a "seller" who pretended to be the widow of an Iraq war veteran who was selling her family's mobile home so that she could care for her children, the complaint said.

In other cases, victims were duped into sending tens of thousands of dollars for non-existent vehicles, motorcycles, boats or motor homes.

"As a result of extensive cooperation between US and European , the defendants have been charged with a scheme to defraud unsuspecting Americans of millions of dollars," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer.

"The Department of Justice is committed to finding and prosecuting aggressively, wherever it happens and however hard the perpetrators work to conceal their crimes."

Butoi, Cojorcaru, Ghebosila, Mircea, Pieptea and Simion were arrested Wednesday. Meme has been in custody in the Czech Republic.

Officials said some of the defendants were also charged with passport fraud. They produced high-quality fake passports so that foreign national co-conspirators in the United States could open American bank accounts to accept funds.

If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy counts, and 10 years in prison for passport fraud conspiracy.

Explore further: Reddit launches crowdfunding platform Redditmade

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Romanians charged in US with computer fraud

Dec 09, 2011

Four Romanians have been charged with hacking into the computer systems of hundreds of US merchants and making millions of dollars in purchases with stolen credit card data, the Justice Department said Thursday.

Two Latvians indicted in US in 'scareware' scam

Jun 23, 2011

Two Latvians have been indicted and dozens of computers and servers seized in the United States and Europe in a crackdown on international cybercrime, the US Justice Department said Wednesday.

3 indicted in $100 million Internet 'scareware' scheme

May 27, 2010

Three men have been indicted in connection with a Ukraine-based fraud scheme which tricked Internet users into believing their computers were infected and collected some 100 million dollars, officials said ...

US charges 91 in wave of health fraud cases

Sep 08, 2011

US authorities have charged 91 people over some $295 million in alleged fraud schemes related to Medicare, the government-run health program for seniors, the Justice Department said.

11 charged in US crackdown on online poker

Apr 15, 2011

Eleven people have been charged with bank fraud, money laundering, illegal gambling and other offenses in a crackdown on the three largest online poker companies operating in the United States.

Estonians, Russian charged in Internet ad scam

Nov 09, 2011

Six Estonians and a Russian were charged Wednesday with infecting computers, including NASA machines, with malware as part of an online advertising scam that reaped at least $14 million.

Recommended for you

Tweet much to gain popularity is an inefficient strategy

6 hours ago

The imbalanced structure of Twitter, where some users have many followers and the large majority barely has several dozen followers, means that messages from the more influential have much more impact. Less ...

Five ways to fight online abuse with good manners

7 hours ago

Online and social media's capacity to enable anyone to communicate their ideas and views is much celebrated. So why do so many people feel nervous about getting involved with online debate?

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.