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Press Release

Moldovan National Sentenced For Passport Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX:  (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Vasile Leu, 34, of Chisinau, Moldova, who was convicted of using a fraudulent Czech Republic passport to open bank accounts, was sentenced to 24 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Charles P. Siragusa. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution of $147,850 to victims of a related fraud.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who handling the case, stated that in 2012, Leu entered the United States and, over a period of months, 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. The defendant then transferred the proceeds of the fraud back to Eastern Europe.

Upon completing his prison sentence, Leu is expected to be immediately deported from the United States back to Moldova.

This sentencing 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.

Updated January 8, 2015