U.S. v. Andrei Catalin Stoica, et al.
The indictments allege that these defendants participated in a criminal conspiracy primarily located in Alexandria, Romania that engaged in a large-scale scheme of online auction fraud. Specifically, Romania-based members of the conspiracy and their associates posted false advertisements to popular online auction and sales websites—such as Craigslist and eBay—for high-cost goods (typically vehicles) that did not actually exist. According to the indictment, these members would convince American victims to send money for the advertised goods by crafting persuasive narratives. The members of the conspiracy are alleged to have created fictitious online accounts to post these advertisements and communicate with victims, often using the stolen identities of Americans to do so. They are alleged to have delivered invoices to the victims bearing trademarks of reputable companies in order to make the transaction appear legitimate. Once victims were convinced to send payment, the indictment alleges that the conspiracy engaged in a complicated money laundering scheme.