Serbian-Hungarian Dual Citizen Pleads Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court To Multi-Million Dollar Business Email Compromise Scheme
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that DEJAN MEDIC pled guilty to participating in a business email compromise scheme that stole over $3.7 million from 15 victim companies in the United States and Europe. MEDIC pled guilty to one count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods, to whom his case is assigned.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As he admitted in court today, Dejan Medic participated in a scheme to defraud Americans, and others worldwide, from thousands of miles away. Medic’s plea today should serve as a warning to those who think they can victimize others and hide behind the anonymity of the internet at a safe distance: the United States and its international partners will find you and hold you accountable.”
According to the Indictment and other documents filed in the case, including the defendant’s statements under oath during his guilty plea:
From in or about July 2018, until approximately March 2019, the defendant engaged in a business email compromise scheme that used fraudulent phone calls and spoofed email accounts to obtain money from at least 15 victim businesses in the United States (the “Victim Companies”). The scheme was typically initiated through a telephone call placed to the U.S.-based Victim Company from a European telephone number. During this call, the caller posed as either a senior executive or a board member of the Victim Company’s Europe-based parent company. During the call, the caller requested the Victim Company’s assistance with a purportedly urgent wire transfer of funds regarding purported debts of the parent company. After the call, the Victim Company then received an initial follow-up email from an email address with a domain name that was either the same, or misleadingly similar to, the Victim Company’s foreign parent company email—a process known as email “spoofing.” The members of the scheme would continue conversations using the spoofed and other email accounts regarding the payment of the alleged debt by the Victim Company’s European parent. The members of the scheme then provided wire transfer information and worked to fraudulently induce the Victim Company into wiring funds to accounts controlled by a member of the scheme.
At least 15 Victim Companies suffered a total loss of approximately $3.7 million through the course of the scheme. In addition, the investigation revealed that the scheme also attempted to obtain approximately $6.8 million in additional fraudulent payments from U.S.-based Victim Companies that were unsuccessful.
As part of the scheme, at least several Victim Companies were fraudulently induced to send funds directly to Hungarian bank accounts opened and controlled by MEDIC. In addition, some of the Victim Companies sent proceeds to other European bank accounts that were converted to gold. Thereafter, on or about April 27, 2019, MEDIC was arrested by Hungarian authorities attempting to cross the border into Serbia in possession of, among other things, three serialized gold bars that were proceeds of the fraud scheme.
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MEDIC, 49, a resident of Szabadk, Serbia, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum prison term of 20 years. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Williams praised the FBI for their outstanding investigative work on this case.
The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in the investigation and securing the extradition of MEDIC from Hungary.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Jilan Kamal and Louis A. Pellegrino are in charge of the prosecution.