Romanian Man Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison for Online Fraud

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Doru Gabriel Trifu, 29, a Romanian citizen living in Orangevale, Calif., was recently sentenced to 96 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, following his conviction on 33 counts of wire fraud in connection with an Internet fraud scheme.

Trifu, who was also ordered to pay $562,240 in restitution, is expected to be deported to Romania following his release from prison.

The fraud scheme involved listing consumer items for sale online. People who wanted to purchase the items were told to send money via MoneyGram to an escrow agent who would accept the funds, complete the transaction, and deliver the items -- but after the money was transferred, the items were never delivered.

During the trial, several victims said they were told they were buying an item from a U.S. serviceman who was about to deploy to the Middle East.

"This case serves as an important and timely 'Cyber Monday' reminder than consumers need to be careful when shopping online," Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), said in a statement.

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