SAN JOSE — A suspected “money mule” for a multi-million dollar fraud ring was indicted on federal charges, nearly two years after authorities charged him as “John Doe” because they hadn’t yet identified him, according to court records.
Ionut Ganea was charged with bank fraud, an offense that carries up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The indictment alleges that Ganea withdrew more than $1.85 million in cash that had been swindled from victims through a scheme that posted false adds on eBay Motors purporting to sell real cars.
Authorities allege Ganea opened dozens of bank accounts around the Bay Area, where unsuspecting “car” buyers would wire money. To open the accounts he allegedly used fake IDs and fake passports from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Latvia.
In 2020, authorities charged “John Doe” with bank fraud in connection with the scheme, because they weren’t sure who the “money mule” was, according to the complaint. Security footage at various banks showed a masked man withdrawing funds. It wasn’t until 2022 that Ganea was identified as “Doe” and indicted, court records show.
Ganea has not yet entered a plea. The indictment doesn’t name his alleged con-conspirators.
The plot started around mid-2019, according to federal prosecutors.
Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News
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