Romanian admits to online car scheme

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Romanian man has admitted his role in a scheme where buyers were duped into paying money for automobiles they had seen for sale online but never received.

Federal prosecutors said Friday that 34-year-old Alexander Stanciu of Bucharest, Romania, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud.

U.S. Attorney David Rivera said in a statement that testimony showed that 17 people had paid more than $320,000 for vehicles they thought they were purchasing online.

Rivera said buyers saw the vehicles listed on websites such as Autotrader and eBay and then wired payments to bank accounts that Stanciu opened up using false identities. The bulk of the money was then sent to co-conspirators living abroad.

Stanciu was apprehended in July 2013 at Miami International Airport.

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