The owner of a Bulgarian crypto exchange has been convicted of providing money-laundering services to an Eastern European cyber fraud syndicate.
Rossen Iossifov, a 53-year-old Bulgarian national and owner of the ‘RG Coins’ cryptocurrency exchange, has been convicted of operating a multi-million dollar money-laundering ring as part of a transnational auction fraud scheme.
Following a two-week trial Iossifov was found guilty by a federal jury in Frankfort, Kentucky, of conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. The Kentucky resident will face sentencing on Jan. 12, 2021.
The jury found that at least 900 U.S. citizens were conned in a scheme that saw Iossifov’s Romania-based accomplices post advertisements on popular auction platforms like eBay and Craigslist for high-value goods such as vehicles that did not exist.
According to a Department of Justice release, scammers would provide their victims with fraudulent documents and invoices featuring the trademarks of reputable companies to cultivate the appearance of legitimacy, and even employed call centers and “support staff” to alleviate their buyers’ concerns.
Once they had received payment, Iossifov would convert the funds into crypto assets and transfer the proceeds to off-shore money launderers. The jury found that Iossifov knowingly provided services to the criminal syndicate from at least September 2015 until December 2018 — exchanging more than $4.9 million worth of Bitcoin for four other members of the organization.