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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 15, 2017

Luis Javier Martinez-Melo Sentenced to 57 Months in Prison for Participating in Internet Auto Sales Scam

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - On May 15, 2017, Luis Javier Martinez-Melo, 26, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced by the Honorable Pamela L. Reeves, U.S. District Judge, to serve 57 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme to defraud victims involving an online automobile sales scam. Additionally, the court ordered him to pay restitution to the 66 identified victims of the scheme whose losses exceeded $674,000.

 

At the conclusion of his prison sentence, Martinez-Melo will be presented to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation proceedings.

 

Martinez-Melo opened bank accounts in various bogus business names that were used to receive funds from victims who believed that they were buying cars advertised for sale on various Internet websites. After the victims wired funds into these bank accounts, Martinez-Melo and others withdrew and wire transferred the funds to members of the scheme operating from overseas.

 

Martinez-Melo pleaded guilty in January 2017 to federal wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges stemming from his role in the scheme.

 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted this investigation. Matthew T. Morris, Assistant U.S. Attorney, represented the United States.

 

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Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Contact: 
Sharry Dedman-Beard Public Information Officer 865-225-1671 sharry.dedman-beard@usdoj.gov
Updated May 18, 2017