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FORMER MONROE RESIDENT INDICTED: 50 COUNTS OF MAIL FRAUD, WIRE FRAUD, ID THEFT AND FALSE TAX CLAIMS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2005

EVANGELOS DIMITRIOS SOUKAS, 26, of Monroe, Washington, was indicted by a federal grand jury for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Mail Fraud, as well as numerous individual counts of Mail and Wire Fraud, Identity Fraud, and Submitting Fraudulent Claims to the Internal Revenue Service. The 50-count indictment alleges a variety of schemes from 1999 to 2004, that SOUKAS used in an attempt to defraud his victims of more than a million dollars. SOUKAS is currently under arrest in Cyprus. The United States is seeking his extradition to the Western District of Washington to face these charges.

According to the indictment, SOUKAS posted false and fraudulent advertisements for merchandise on various internet auction web sites, knowing he did not have the merchandise and having no intention of delivering it. SOUKAS used a variety of user names and email addresses when he posted the ads. SOUKAS sometimes did advertise and deliver inexpensive items to buyers in order to obtain positive reviews on the web sites. He would also use a different user name and email address to "purchase" items he advertised. He did this so he could then post positive reviews of himself on the web site to increase the likelihood that other buyers would trust him. SOUKAS advertised expensive electronic equipment such as laptop computers, camcorders and cell phones. But after purchasers mailed SOUKAS checks or paid into a Paypal account, they never received the merchandise. One purchaser was sent a box containing rocks and Styrofoam packing.

Through these fraudulent internet auction sales, SOUKAS attempted to defraud his victims of approximately of $293,727.

The indictment also charges SOUKAS with Conspiracy to Commit Fraud by Using Other Persons' Means of Identification. SOUKAS allegedly used at least fifteen victims' names, Social Security Numbers and dates of birth to open bank accounts, to apply for lines of credit and loans on the internet, and to purchase merchandise. Using the false identities, SOUKAS had more than $18,000 of Dell computer equipment shipped to his Monroe address. He had more than $5,000 worth of Target merchandise and gift cards shipped to his address, again using fraudulent identities. Using two false identities, he obtained $50,000 by fraudulently obtaining home equity lines of credit in his victims' names. SOUKAS also filed false income tax returns in his victims' names in an attempt to obtain tax refunds to which he was not entitled. He even applied for refund anticipation loans in his victims' names.

In early 2000, SOUKAS fled the United States for Greece to avoid arrest. However he continued to use false identities to defraud his victims. In December 2003, he made a failed attempt to transfer $285,000 from a victim's Fidelity Investment account. SOUKAS also had blank checks from two of his victims' bank accounts mailed to him in Greece. In Athens, SOUKAS forged and cashed one of these checks for $8,000. He forged and cashed another one of these checks for $60,000. He attempted to run up charges on his victims' credit card accounts, to obtain cash advances, and to raid his E-Trade and bank accounts.

SOUKAS was arrested January 14, 2005, as he arrived at the airport in Cyprus. The FBI had alerted Interpol that SOUKAS was wanted in the United States.

An indictment contains allegations that have not been proven at trial beyond a reasonable doubt. SOUKAS' first appearance in U.S. District Court has not been scheduled.

The FBI and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID) are investigating the case. Assistant United States Attorney Karyn Johnson is handling the prosecution.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington, at 206-553-4110.

(Download Indictment )

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