SEVEN MEMBERS OF ROMANIAN ORGANIZED CRIME GROUP CHARGED IN INTERNATIONAL WIRE FRAUD SCHEME
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced the filing of an indictment, charging seven members of an organized crime group based in Romania with offenses arising from a wire fraud scheme. Charged in the 21-count indictment are defendants Pedro Pulido, 41, of Pembroke Pines, Ivan Boris Barkovic, 19, of Sunny Isles Beach, Beand Dorsainville, 19, of North Miami Beach, Sergiu Petrov, a.k.a. “Serogia,” 27, of Moldova, Oleg Virlan, 32, of Moldova, Marian Cristea, 22, of Romania, and Andrian Olarita, 23, of Sunny Isles Beach. Defendants Vadim Gherghelejiu, 24, of Moldova, Anatolie Bisericanu, 24, of Moldova, Jairo Osorno, 21, of Surfside, and Jason Eibinder 21, of Sunny Isles Beach, were previously separately charged in connection with this fraud. Three defendants (Petrov, Virlan, and Cristea) remain at large and are considered fugitives. Photographs of the fugitives are attached.
According to the indictments in this case, these defendants and other unnamed co-conspirators conspired to engage in a wire fraud scheme targeting individuals seeking to purchase goods and merchandise on the internet. Co-conspirators based in Romania would post items for sale, such as cars, on the internet and would instruct individuals who wanted to buy those items to wire transfer the purchase money to a fictitious name using a money transmitter service. The funds would be picked up by defendants and co-conspirators using false identification documents in the fictitious names. Additionally, some of the funds were sent by wire to bank accounts in the United States maintained by the defendants or co-conspirators. Defendants, who operated in the United States as “arrows,” would receive text messages from their co-conspirators overseas detailing the transaction sent by the victims and providing instructions on how to retrieve and distribute the money after retrieval.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, stated, “These defendants were part of an international wire fraud ring that used the internet to target unwitting victims who sought to buy legitimate goods on-line. This type of fraud will not be tolerated.”
“International organized crime poses a serious threat to the United States,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge John V. Gillies. “Yesterday’s arrests represent a significant disruption to a Romanian-based cyber threat that used Internet auctions to defraud unsuspecting buyers. The FBI will continue to fight organized crime, domestic and international.”
The indictment has specific instances of these types of transactions. Count 2, for example, describes an alleged transaction where S.C., a victim in Colorado, sent $23,500 to defendant Pulido’s bank account, believing the funds were being sent to purchase a vehicle. Count 3 of the indictment describes a similar transaction where A.K., a victim in Texas, sent $4,200 to “Rayan Pulan.” This amount was retrieved by defendant Pulido using false identification documents. Count 10 describes another transaction where L.S., a victim in Iowa, sent $1,999.99 to “Clint Broderick.” These funds were retrieved by defendant Dorsainville. In each case, the victims wire transferred the funds, the funds were collected, but no items were provided to the victims.
In court documents filed in connection with Jason Eibinder, the fraud loss in connection with this group of defendants has been identified as more than $300,000. The full loss amount and identification of additional victims is ongoing.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI’s Eurasian Organized Crime Squad. Substantial assistance was provided on this matter by the United States Secret Service, Miami Field Office; Hallandale Beach Police Department; Pembroke Pines Police Department; Miami Gardens Police Department, Sunny Isles Beach Police Department, North Miami Beach Police Department as well as the security divisions of Money Gram International, Wal-Mart, Western Union and Department of Justice Criminal Division, International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Huynh.
An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are assumed innocent until proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.