FORMER MONROE RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY
TO 39 COUNTS OF CONSPIRACY, ID THEFT AND FALSE TAX CLAIMS
EVANGELOS DIMITRIOS SOUKAS, 27, of Monroe, Washington, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle to Conspiracy to Commit Wire and Mail Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Fraud Using Another Person's Identifying Information, and numerous individual counts of Identity Fraud and of Submitting Fraudulent Claims to the Internal Revenue Service. In his plea agreement, SOUKAS admits to using a variety of schemes from 1999 to 2004, in his attempts to defraud his victims of more than a million dollars. SOUKAS was arrested on January 14, 2005, as he arrived at the airport in Cyprus. The FBI had alerted Interpol that SOUKAS was wanted in the United States.
According to the plea agreement, 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 would advertise and deliver inexpensive items to buyers in order to obtain positive reviews on the web sites. He would also use different user names and email addresses 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.
SOUKAS also used at least 15 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 false identities, he fraudulently applied for 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 and avoided arrest. However, he continued to use false identities to commit fraud. In December 2003, he made a failed attempt to transfer $285,000 from a victim's Fidelity Investment account into SOUKAS's bank account in Greece. SOUKAS also had blank checks from two of his victims' bank accounts mailed to him in Greece. In Athens, SOUKAS forged and deposited one of these checks for $8,000. He forged and deposited 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 E-Trade and bank accounts.
In all, SOUKAS's fraud totals $1,136,067.03. He will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge James L. Robart.
The FBI, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), and the Monroe Police Department investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorneys Karyn Johnson and Kathryn Warma are 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.