The owner of the Bulgarian cryptocurrency exchange RG Coins was sentenced to 10 years in prison for money laundering. Rossen Iossifov, 53, was convicted of participating in a multimillion-dollar scheme by a Romanian gang that sold fake cars on eBay. The defendant helped the criminal organization to launder funds acquired through fraud.
Second press release released on Tuesday by the US Department of Justice, Judge Robert Weir sentenced Rossen Iossifov to a 10-year prison sentence. The condition was also applied that the defendant must serve 85% of the sentence in a closed regime.
Scheme harmed at least 900 Americans
According to evidence from the trial, Iossifov owned and managed RG Coins, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Sofia, Bulgaria. The statement states that the broker’s owner “knowingly and intentionally engaged in commercial practices designed to assist fraudsters in washing the product of their fraud and protecting themselves from criminal liability.”
The Court reports that at least five of Yosifov’s main clients in Bulgaria were Romanian scammers, who belonged to a criminal organization known to the American justice system as Alexandria Online Auction Fraud Network (AOAF). The scheme victimized at least 900 Americans through fraud on fake internet auctions.
The members participating in the scam posted fake ads on popular online sales and auction sites such as eBay and Craigslist. The products were generally of high value, mainly vehicles.
The victims were persuaded to send the payment in advance, which was then converted into cryptocurrencies and directed to money laundering associates such as Iosifov, who received the amount abroad and converted it back into conventional currencies.
RG Coins was designed to serve criminals
The evidence presented at the trial indicated that Iosifov planned his business to serve criminal clients, offering more favorable exchange rates specifically to members of the Romanian AOAF organization.
The defendant also allowed his clients to conduct cryptocurrency exchanges for cash without requiring identification or documents that would prove the source of the funds. During the trial, it was revealed that Iossifov laundered more than $ 5 million in crypto assets over a three-year period. The criminal is said to have profited about $ 184,000 in total from these transactions.
With information: Coindesk