Feds Bust Alleged Internet Auto/Boat Sales Scam By Russians

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The U.S. Department of Justice in Los Angeles announced this afternoon that a federal grand jury has indicted six foreign nationals--including one in Costa Mesa--for operating an Internet-based sales scam that allegedly defrauded more than $4.2 million from unsuspecting shoppers since 2007.

According to a DOJ press release, the money laundering conspiracy used eBay Motors, Auto Trader, Yahoo Auto, Edmunds.com, Craigslist and PayPal accounts to collect money from individuals across the nation and then funneled the funds to European accounts without ever delivering a single ordered vehicle, boat, motor home or motorcycle.

"This case demonstrates our ability to track down even the most sophisticated fraud artist who attempted to hide behind false identities and the perceived anonymity of the Internet," United States Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said in a prepared statement.

The Costa Mesa Police Department participated in the investigation (along with the U.S. Secret Service, IRS and the Department of Homeland Security) and arrested Sergej Bugaev, 38, a Russian national and Berlin resident. Two of the suspects were captured in Nevada and three others apparently are overseas and haven't yet been apprehended.

Federal agents said the conspirators used sophisticated, legitimate-seeming documents to trick customers.

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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11 comments
Jim Gilchrist
Jim Gilchrist

Now you know why it is critical to the preservation of our domestic tranquility to seriously enforce U.S. immigration laws.

A U.S. policy on pro-immigration is a very good thing for our country, but only if that same policy prevents those with criminal intent from setting up shop in our communities. 

Of course, critics of immigration law enforcement would be only too happy to shred any enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, or most laws, in general.  Then, the country would be overrun by their like-minded criminal bedfellows.

Jim Gilchrist, President, The Minuteman Project   

Yacht Sales
Yacht Sales

 I truly appreciate the work done by the US jury as they aware of the money laundering conspiracy used eBay Motors.

auto trader
auto trader

Recently mostly people prefer to use internet for the different purpose. Internet useful for the various kind of trade. This post sharing a good idea for the Auto trading by the internet. It is nice way and that's good to get a many customer. It's easy and reliable way to find a more customer.

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

Hmm 3 of 6 comments are web advertisers posing as comments. At least they are not a Chinese company selling illegal spinoffs...

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Dansantana
Dansantana

These guys got me for 20 grand. I hope they all get what they deserve.

909Jeff
909Jeff

I see the Costa Mesa PD, the Secret Service, the Dept of Homeland Security, and the IRS... Where was the Moose and Squirrel? 

Lan
Lan

my friendis a 27 years old doctor,mature and beautiful. and now she is seeking a good man who can give her real love, so she got a sername Andromeda2002 on  Agedate.СòM, a nice and free place for younger women and older men,or older women and younger men, to interact with each other.Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.

Bill T.
Bill T.

Sigh. I guess OCW needs to reinstate the Turing tests to minimize these leaches advertising for free.

"Log into our web site now and let us recruit YOUR COMPUTER TOO as a bot to spam this trash!"

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