38-year-old Romanian national Corneliu Weikum – currently living in Germany -, and 24-year-old Russian national Yulia Mishina-Heffron admitted to participating in an online car sales scheme that resulted in total losses of over $4 million (3.2 million EUR).
that the suspects forfeited over a quarter of the amount and promised to refund victims. The two will be sentenced on December 21 and, according to their agreements, although the maximum sentence is 35 years in prison, Mishina-Heffron will probably get 70 months and Weikum 97 months in jail.
Federal prosecutors revealed that the entire fraud scheme was coordinated from Romania. Fraudsters would instruct victims to deposit payments for non-existent vehicles - advertised on eBay and other similar sites - in US bank accounts.
Then, the money would be withdrawn and the aforementioned defendants smuggled it out of the country. On one occasion, Mishina-Heffron attempted to ship $20,000 (16,000 EUR) to Germany inside stereo speakers.