The 53-year-old Bulgarian and owner of the crypto currency exchange RG Coins Rossen Iossifov has been found guilty of money laundering in a multi-million dollar auction fraud.
After a two-week trial, Iossifov was found guilty by a jury in Frankfort, Kentucky, of conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to commit organized crime. The Bulgarian must appear for sentencing on 12 January 2021.
At least 900 US citizens are said to have been swindled. In the process, Iossifovs Romanian accomplices advertised on popular auction platforms such as eBay and Craigslist for high-quality goods, such as vehicles, which did not even exist.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Justice, the fraudsters allegedly sent their victims forged documents and invoices bearing the trademarks of reputable companies in order to appear authentic. They are even said to have employed call centres and support staff to allay the concerns of their buyers.
As soon as they received the payment, Iossifov is said to have converted the money into crypto assets and transferred them to offshore money launderers. Iossifov is said to have knowingly provided services to the criminals at least from September 2015 to December 2018. He is alleged to have laundered more than $4.9 million worth of Bitcoin for four other members of the organization.
The arrests were made by US law enforcement agencies together with the Romanian National Police and the Romanian Organized Crime Agency.
Iossifov is the 17th defendant convicted in this case. Three others are still on the run. Over a dozen of the accused have been extradited from Romania.
RG Coins was founded in April 2014. The website sold hardware wallets and enabled the exchange of crypto currencies for Eastern Europe.