According to a press release published on Monday, Sep 28, a Bulgarian national has been found guilty in a U.S. court for his role in a multi-million dollar fraud scheme.

The person in question, Rossen Iossifov, is the 53-year-old Bulgarian owner of cryptocurrency exchange ‘RG Coins.’

Per court documents, Iossifov has been convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for his part in an international auction fraud scheme.

An Elaborate Fraud

According to the release, Iossifov, and his co-conspirators,

participated in a criminal conspiracy that engaged in a large-scale scheme of online auction fraud that victimized at least 900 Americans.

The auction fraud was run by a Romania-based criminal ring that put false advertisements on sites like Craigslist and eBay for bigger ticket goods (often vehicles) that did not exist. Then, the scammers would try to convince victims to send money for the advertised goods.

They did this by crafting persuasive narratives, using the trademarks of reputable companies, setting up customer service systems, anything to gain the victim’s trust.

Once a victim had been duped into sending money, Iossifov and his Romanian associates,

engaged in a complicated money laundering scheme wherein domestic associates would accept victim funds, convert these funds to cryptocurrency, and transfer proceeds in the form of cryptocurrency to foreign-based money launderers,

the release read.

The Verdict

After a two week trial, the jury found that Iossifov knowingly worked with the criminal syndicate from at least September 2015 until December 2018, enabling the exchange of more than $4.9 million worth of bitcoin for members of the organization.

In this case, Iossifov is the 17th person to be arrested. Three suspected participants remain fugitives, and sentencing has been set for Jan 12, 2021.