Moldovan National Pleads Guilty to Passport Fraud
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Vasile Leu, 34, of Chisinau, Moldova, pleaded guilty to using a fraudulent Czech Republic passport before U.S. District Judge Charles P. Siragusa. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who is handling the matter, stated that Leu entered the United States in 2012. Over a period of months, the defendant opened bank accounts at different banks in Wisconsin and California using false Czech Republic passports issued to him under various aliases. The bank accounts were used to receive proceeds from an internet fraud that targeted online purchasers of motor vehicles. Leu then transferred the proceeds of the fraud back to Eastern Europe.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation by Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero.Sentencing is scheduled for January 6, 2015, at 3:15 p.m. before Judge Siragusa.