Citizen of Ukraine Sentenced to 16 Months in Federal Prison for Fraud Scheme
CONCORD – Yuriy Khalabuda, 37, of Ukraine, was sentenced to 16 months in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Scott W. Murray.
According to court documents, in April and May 2017, Khalabuda and another person used scanned images of gift cards on their cell phones to buy merchandise from the Best Buy store in Salem, New Hampshire. The gift cards were stolen from individuals through an internet-based fraud scheme that targeted individuals who were looking for employment.
Khalabuda was arrested on May 13, 2017, after an employee of the Best Buy Store saw him use stolen gift cards to buy merchandise worth more than $2,000. While executing a warrant to search Khalabuda’s cell phone, investigators from the Salem Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation recovered numerous text messages that implicated Khalabuda in the criminal conspiracy.
Khalabuda pleaded guilty on May 30, 2018. After serving his sentence, he faces possible deportation.
“The criminal conduct involved in this case caused serious financial harm to many innocent victims,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “People who commit these types of crimes should understand that they will be identified and prosecuted. I want to commend Salem Police Department and the FBI for their collective and persistent effort to bring this defendant to justice.”
"We're pleased to see that Mr. Khalabuda is finally being held accountable for deceiving and defrauding local businesses," said Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. "Anyone who tries to follow in his footsteps by using technology to perpetrate similar schemes should know that we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to put a stop to their criminal behavior."
The case was investigated by the Salem Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Kinsella