Computer Crime Research Center


Romanians caught by FBI for internet fraud

Date: October 10, 2006
By: Roy Mark

Two Romanian nationals are facing wire fraud and identity fraud charges for their roles in a $150,000 Internet auction scheme.

According to a 10-count indictment returned Friday by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles, Teodor Manolache, 29, and Leontin Salageanu, 26, of Northridge, Calif., were involved in organizing bogus auctions for Hurricane Katrina victims.

The two offered items for sale and collected the winning bids, but failed to deliver the products. According to the Department of Justice, the sellers instructed victims to send their payments by Western Union to circumvent online payment systems.

Manolache and Salageanu then went to Western Union locations in the Los Angeles area and, using false identification, collected the money.

The bogus auctions were held on eBay, Yahoo and

The indictment charges Manolache and Salageanu with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and identity fraud.

Manolache is also charged with four counts of wire fraud and one count of identity fraud while Salageanu is charged with three counts of wire fraud and one count of identity fraud.
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