October 30, 2020

Volume X, Number 304

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Defendants Plead Guilty to Cyber Auction Fraud!

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a press release that stated that in the past month “Fifteen defendants have pleaded guilty to-date for their roles in a transnational and multi-million dollar scheme to defraud American victims through online auction fraud.”  The June 11, 2020 press release entitled “Fifteen Defendants Plead Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy in International Cyber Fraud Scheme” included these comments according to court documents:

…the defendants participated in a criminal conspiracy that engaged in a large-scale scheme of online auction fraud. 

Specifically, Romania-based members of the conspiracy posted false advertisements to popular online auction and sales websites—such as Craigslist and eBay—for high-cost goods (typically vehicles) that did not actually exist. 

Members of the conspiracy would convince American victims to send money for the advertised goods by crafting persuasive narratives, for example, by impersonating a military member who needed to sell the advertised item before deployment.

…members of the conspiracy created fictitious online accounts to post these advertisements and communicate with victims, often using the stolen identities of Americans to do so. 

They also delivered invoices to the victims bearing trademarks of reputable companies in order to make the transaction appear legitimate. 

These guilty pleas should be a wake-up call to all to everyone who participates in online auctions!

DOJ News

© 2020 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 170
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About this Author

Peter Vogel, trial attorney, Foley Lardner
Partner

Peter Vogel is renowned as both a trial and transactional lawyer who deeply understands technology, science and intellectual property, and the opportunities and problems they pose for clients. Governments and administrative agencies, as well as major corporations and emerging businesses, rely on Peter to get right to the heart of an information technology or e-discovery dispute; he knows what to expect and how it will play out in the courtroom. This eliminates unproductive rabbit trails and reduces the cost of litigation for all parties. When negotiating agreements for...

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