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VOL. 41 | NO. 12 | Friday, March 24, 2017

Romanian man pleads guilty to $873k online sales fraud

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NASHVILLE (AP) — A Romanian man has pleaded guilty in an international scheme to list fake ads for vehicles on eBay and other websites, spurring would-be buyers to send his group $873,000.

A U.S. Department of Justice news release says 36-year-old Vlad Diaconu, of Bucharest, Romania, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.

Diaconu was indicted in Middle Tennessee on June 2015 and was extradited from Romania to Tennessee in August 2016.

The release says Diaconu admitted his co-conspirators fraudulently listed vehicles on eBay and elsewhere online. They directed prospective buyers to wire payments for vehicles that weren't actually for sale to bank accounts opened by Diaconu and others with false identities and fraudulent documents.

The release says Diaconu and others sent most of the money to co-conspirators overseas.