According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), fifteen people have pleaded guilty to participating in an international union that has used fake online auctions to outwit Bitcoin victims (BTC).
Since at least December 2013, the union has used product listings that are not on auction and sales sites to deceive victims, and in recent years has been laundering money through the exchange of Romanflux Romanian digital currencies.
According to the Justice Department, the last 24 days before the U.S. peace of Matthew Matthew Stenett served four centuries of Roman citizens, two of which occurred within the past 24 hours.
Detecting an international fraud episode
On June 11, Bogdan 30-year-old Stephan Popescu and 34-year-old Levio Soren Ndelka pleaded guilty to a report on each plot of RICO.
The complaint states that Nedelku cooperated with other scammers to advertise in auctions on non-existent goods, often vehicles. “After receiving the money, Nedelka and his staff included a complex money laundering plan to transfer the victim to Bitcoin,” the Justice Ministry said.
The Department of Justice claims that Popescu led the “process where he deliberately negotiated fraudulent Bitcoin” through online frauds, in addition to providing money laundering services and distribution tools used to trick victims in the United States.
Romanian Money Exchange and Money Laundering Agents Coinflux
The money received by the union was laundered by the Romanian Coinflux exchange.
33-year-old Vlad Calin Nestor, Coinflux founder and operator, admitted guilty to a number of RICO plots on May 19. Nestor transformed crypto assets of criminals into a local paper currency on behalf of members of the Romanian group. ”
The Justice Department claims that Nestor laundered the money despite knowing that “Bitcoin represents the proceeds of illegal activities,” with documents saying that Nistor replaced Bitcoin with more than $ 1.8 million for Popescu.
Thirty-year-old Benjamin Philippe Ologano also pleaded guilty to conspiring with RICO on May 19 when he worked for a union to place fake ads on auctions and sales pages. Olegan also obtained fraudulent profits from its partners in the form of prepaid debit cards to be washed in the United States.
“Through the use of digital currencies and cross-border regulatory strategies, this criminal syndicate has felt that it is not available to law enforcement,” said Michael Dambrosio, the US assistant secretary of state.
“However, as this successful investigation shows, through continued international cooperation, we can effectively hold cybercriminals accountable for their actions, regardless of where they reside.”
Coinflux founder arrested in 2018
In December 2018, Romanian media reported that Nestor was arrested in Romania on behalf of the US prosecution authorities for money laundering and fraudulent activities. In less than a month, it was announced that Nistor would be shipped to the United States.