Boston...A Hungarian woman was convicted today in federal court of money-laundering and passport fraud related to a fraudulent scheme to sell vehicles over the Internet.
Eniko Somodi, 30, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton, to one count of conspiracy to commit money-laundering and one count of using a false, forged, counterfeit, or altered passport in connection with the scheme to defraud.
At today’s plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial, the Government’s evidence would have proven that in mid-October 2011, Somodi entered the United States from Hungary with Zsolt Lendvai, a co-conspirator charged in a separate case. While here, another conspirator, identified as Z.K., provided them false passports and other identity documents. At Z.K.’s direction, Somodi and Lendvai used their new false identities to open up mailboxes and bank accounts. Other co-conspirators then fraudulently sold vehicles over the Internet to victims across the United States and directed purchasers to send the purchase money to the conspiracy’s newly-opened bank accounts. At other co-conspirators’ direction, Somodi and Lendvai transferred the proceeds, often by wiring them to bank accounts in Hong Kong or elsewhere outside the United States. More than $1 million moved through these accounts and the vehicles were never delivered.
Lendvai, is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 4, 2012, before Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. A third co-conspirator, Tamas Ringhoffer, was sentenced on Sept. 20, 2012, to 10 months in prison.
Judge Gorton scheduled sentencing for March 8, 2012. Somodi faces up to 30 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture, and a fine of $500,000 or twice the amount of money laundered, whichever is higher.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Kevin Niland, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott L. Garland and Veronica Lei of Ortiz’s Cybercrimes and Asset Forfeiture Units.