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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Friday, June 6, 2014

Moldovan national pleads guilty to wire fraud

    BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Iurie Stratenco, 28, of Moldova, pleaded guilty to wire fraud before U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years In prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant used a fraudulent passport from Denmark in the name of Christian Bendtner, to open up several bank accounts in the Buffalo area. Stratenco then placed false advertisements on eBay for “Can-Am Spyder” and “Honda Goldwing” motorcycles. The defendant directed interested buyers to wire money into one of the bank accounts opened under the name Christian Bendtner. Stratenco told victims the money would go into an eBay holding account until the merchandize was shipped. Instead, the money went directly into one of the fraudulent accounts. During the course of the scheme, the defendant transferred $17,500 of the money wired into the fraudulent accounts to an individual located in the Ukraine. As a result of Stratenco’s actions, individuals wired $49,300 to the fraudulent bank accounts.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of James C. Spero.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 10, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.
Updated November 18, 2014