Citizen of Ukraine Pleads Guilty to Participating in Wire Fraud Conspiracy
CONCORD - Yuriy Khalabuda, 37, a citizen of Ukraine, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Khalabuda and another person used scanned images of Best Buy gifts cards on their cell phones to buy Apple products from the Best Buy store in Salem, New Hampshire, in April and May 2017. On May 13, 2017, an employee of the Salem store observed Khalabuda use scanned images of gift cards to buy merchandise worth more than $2,200 and notified the Salem Police Department. Later that day, Khalabuda was arrested by the Salem Police Department for driving without a driver’s license. While investigating Khalabuda’s use of the gift cards, the Salem Police Department obtained a warrant to search a cell phone he possessed at the time of his arrest. During the search, investigators found text messages showing that Khalabuda knew that the gift cards he used at the Salem store had been obtained fraudulently.
Khalabuda will be sentenced on September 12, 2018.
“Unfortunately advances in technology provide more opportunities for fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “Prosecuting individuals who fraudulently obtain money and property is an important priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The prosecutors in this office will continue to work diligently with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to aggressively prosecute fraudulent conduct in its many forms.”
"Individuals like Mr. Khalabuda who defraud local businesses drive up prices for all consumers,” said Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Boston Division. “This case should serve as a warning to others that the FBI and our law enforcement partners will aggressively investigate those who commit financial fraud and take advantage of others through their criminal behavior."
The case was investigated by the Salem Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Kinsella.