A 28-year-old Moldovan national pleaded guilty Monday before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to a nearly $50,000 wire fraud scheme involving several local banks and a false Danish passport to fraudulently promote fake motorcycle deals on eBay. Iurie Stratenco faces a prison term of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced at 1 p.m. Sept. 10 on his federal wire fraud plea.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross said Stratenco used a fake Danish passport under the name of Christian Bendtner to set up several Buffalo area bank accounts in recent years and placed false ads on eBay for “Can-Am Spyder” and “Honda Goldwing” motorcycles, getting customers to wire money to one of the Bendtner bank accounts. His eBay customers wired $49,300 to the two bank accounts with some of the funds being transferred to an individual in the country of Ukraine, the prosecutor said.
The criminal scam was uncovered by special agents of the Federal Homeland Security Agency’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement branch.