Florida man pleads guilty to role in moving company racketeering conspiracy
CINCINNATI – A Florida man is the first of 12 charged in Cincinnati in a moving company racketeering conspiracy to plead guilty in U.S. District Court. Members of the racketeering conspiracy defrauded, extorted, and stole from customers who hired companies controlled by the moving enterprise to move customers’ household goods.
Vladimir Pestereanu, 30, of Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., pleaded guilty this afternoon to participating in the racketeering conspiracy.
As part of his plea, Pestereanu, who is also known as “Vova,” admitted that beginning in May 2015, he participated in the racketeering activity as a foreman in a West Chester, Ohio warehouse kept on behalf of the criminal enterprise.
Pestereanu knew that it was the practice of the enterprise to charge customers for moving more cubic footage of household goods than were actually loaded by members of the enterprise. Pestereanu also knew members of the enterprise were refusing delivery of some customers’ household goods based on fraudulent charges that were added after customers’ goods were loaded by the enterprise.
The defendant participated directly in mail fraud and extortion. He demanded from customers additional payment based on fraudulently inflated cubic footage.
In total, the conspiracy is valued at between $1.5 million and $3.5 million.
Participating in a racketeering conspiracy, as defined in this case, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Congress sets the maximum statutory sentence. Sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the Court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Andrea Kropf, Regional Special Agent-in-Charge, Midwestern Regional Investigations Office, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT); and Chris Hoffman, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, announced the plea entered into today before U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black. Assistant United States Attorneys Megan Gaffney Painter and Matthew Singer are representing the United States in this case.
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