Romanian Man Sentenced to Prison for Role in International Fraud Scheme Involving Online Marketplace Websites
A Romanian man was sentenced today to serve 63 months in prison for his role in receiving and sending overseas approximately $690,000 in proceeds from an international fraud scheme involving online marketplace websites, as well as for the use of a fraudulent passport.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney David Rivera of the Middle District of Tennessee and U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida made the announcement. U.S. District Judge Darrin P. Gayles of the Southern District of Florida imposed the sentence.
Razvan Caprarescu, 39, originally of Bucharest, Romania, was indicted in the Middle District of Tennessee in March 2014 for conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud in connection with his participation in the online marketplace scheme. In June 2014, the case was transferred to the Southern District of Florida, where Caprarescu had already been indicted in March 2013 for use and attempted use of a false, forged, and counterfeit Belgian passport. Caprarescu pleaded guilty to both charges in August 2014. In addition to his prison term, Caprarescu was ordered to pay $658,441 in restitution.
In connection with his guilty plea, Caprarescu admitted that his co-conspirators fraudulently listed vehicles for sale at online marketplaces such as eBay. When victims expressed interest in purchasing the vehicles, the co-conspirators responded with e-mails directing the victims to wire payments to specified bank accounts. These bank accounts were opened by Caprarescu and another co-conspirator using false identities and fraudulent documents, including counterfeit passports. Eighteen victims sent approximately $367,036 to accounts opened by Caprarescu between October 2011 and June 2012. Another 17 victims sent approximately $321,389 to accounts opened by Caprarescu’s co-conspirator. Caprarescu and his co-conspirator subsequently sent the bulk of the money to co-conspirators located overseas. Caprarescu also admitted that he used a false Belgian passport bearing an alias to rent a mailbox at a U.S. Pak-n-Ship store located in Broward County, Florida.
The cases were investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The cases were prosecuted by Senior Counsel Mysti Degani of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Byron M. Jones of the Middle District of Tennessee and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicia Shick of the Southern District of Florida.