State News

AG: Members of international fraud ring charged in La.

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Posted: Mar 21, 2011 4:45 PM by WBRZ
Updated: Mar 21, 2011 4:45 PM
Source: Attorney General's Office

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Topics: scam, racketeering, Romanian-Moldovan, online, auction, crime, wbrz, louisiana

BATON ROUGE - Four Romanian-Moldovan nationals that investigators believe scammed millions from Americans over the Internet are on their way to face racketeering charges in Baton Rouge.

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell announced today that Dimitar Dimitrov, 22, Radu Manolache, 40, Ion Antohi, 25, and Andrei Golovco, 27, had all been charged with one count each of violating the Louisiana Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Caldwell said the four were part of an international fraud ring that used fake accounts at online auction sites to scam more than $4 million from people around the U.S. He said the victims would respond to classified ads for a vehicle and would be sent a fake eBay or Auto Traders page requesting payment.

Once the money was wired, Caldwell said runners called "arrows" would go retrieve the money from the U. S. accounts and then wire the money overseas, after taking their cut.

"We aim to send a message to other members of this organization to think twice about victimizing Louisiana citizens," said Caldwell. "These investigations and prosecutions will also help us better educate the public to keep our citizens from becoming victims in the first place."

If convicted the men could face up to 50 years at hard labor.

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