Dealer Admits to Defrauding Russians Featured

By Staff Writer March 21, 2018

A New Jersey auto dealer admitted laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars generated by a scheme to defraud Russian citizens for advance payments on luxury automobiles shipped from the United States.

Sergey Kapustin pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering.

Kapustin was the owner and president of Global Auto Group, Effect Auto Sales and G Auto Sales, all located in Elizabeth, N.J. Global bought and sold used cars, typically high-end vehicles with salvage titles.

From January 2008 through December 2014, Kapustin defrauded customers, who usually lived in Russia, Ukraine or members of the former Soviet Union. He had at least one Russian language website that offered for sale luxury vehicles that were normally priced below market value and that could be shipped to Finland for easy delivery to Russian citizens, but only if they agreed to pay full price in advance for the vehicle.
Kasputin admitted that his customers routinely either did not receive the vehicles for which they had wired payment or, alternatively, were shipped vehicles that were either not operable or in poor condition.

Once the funds were deposited into one the several bank accounts Kapustin controlled, he would move those funds to other accounts from which he withdrew funds to continue the scheme, as well as for his own personal use. Kapustin admitted laundering as much as $550,000 of customer down payments.

The count to which Kapustin pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of 10 years and $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 10.

Last modified on Wednesday, 21 March 2018 20:31

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