15:01 GMT +321 February 2019
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    US Charges 19 Persons in International Fraud, Major Money Laundering Scheme

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    19 individuals were charged in the United States for participating in a large international money laundering scam and various fraud that resulted in over $13 million in losses, according the US Department of Justice.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US authorities have charged 19 individuals for participating in a large international money laundering scam and various fraud that resulted in over $13 million in losses, the Department of Justice said in a press release on Wednesday.

    "In total, they [the defendants] stole more than $13 million from over 170 victims, primarily in the United States," the release stated. "[T]he FBI’s multi-year investigation into these schemes and this international criminal network, has yielded the disruption or return of more than $56 million in victim funds."

    According to prosecutors, the defendants participated in different schemes to defraud US businesses and individuals. Eight members of the crime group, who operated from Europe, were involved in online vehicle fraud. They falsely advertised cars on the Internet offering competitive prices. Upon sale closures, they directed buyers to transfer money into illegal bank accounts, but then never delivered any vehicles.

    Another four defendants used the Internet to instruct US companies' employees to initiate wire transfers from the firms' corporate bank accounts to financial accounts controlled by the criminal enterprise, the release added.

    During the investigation of the fraud schemes, law enforcement discovered an unlicensed money transmitting network operating in the United States, Europe, and Israel that generated thousands of dollars. Police arrested six individuals for operating the illegal money transmitting business.


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