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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 23, 2015

Two Latvian Women Plead Guilty To Wire Fraud Conspiracy

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


BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Janis Tonis, 32, and Veronika Krutova, 26, of Latvia, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth R. Moellering, who is handling the case, stated that the defendants, along with other co-conspirators, defrauded financial institutions and victim businesses by sending false wire transfer requests. Participants in the scheme used stationary from victim businesses to authorize wire transfer requests at the financial institutions. The defendants attempted to defraud a total of $80, 928 from the financial institutions.

The defendants also defrauded online purchasers of motor vehicles by posting cars for sale online, the defendants instructed the buyers to send money to bank accounts they controlled and then took the money and disappeared without ever delivering a vehicle.  The loss amounts total $32,300. 

The pleas are the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero.

Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date before U.S. District Court Judge William M. Skretny.

Updated March 24, 2015