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Romanian Conman Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Online Bidders

Romanian Conman Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Online Bidders - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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A Romanian man has pleaded guilty to one count each of wire fraud and conspiracy for his role in moving and hiding the illegal proceeds of an international fraud that targeted Internet bidders.

Court documents say 33-year-old Adrian Ghighina of Bucharest, Romania, came to the United States in 2004 acting as a money mule in an online fraud conspiracy. Ghighina's co-conspirators created fake online auctions for expensive items, such as cars, motorcycles and RVs, on websites such as eBay, Craigslist and AutoTrader.com. Victims who responded to these fraudulent listings were directed to send payment for the nonexistent items using Western Union and bank wire transfers to accounts controlled by Ghighina.

Ghighina admitted he moved from city to city opening new accounts at various banks using false identification as part of the conspiracy. From approximately September 2005 until his October 2009 arrest in Miami, Ghighina opened accounts and/or received funds in Illinois, the District of Columbia, Florida, New York, Arizona and elsewhere, the Department of Justice said in a release.

Ghighina could be facing 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the count of wire fraud, and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. His sentencing has been scheduled for May 9, 2011.

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