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Miami-dade man sentenced to prison for internet fraud

Posted on February 04, 2010 3:00 AM EST

A man who used to reside in Sunny Isles appeared in federal court with his Miami criminal defense lawyer for his sentencing hearing before a United States District Judge. Nilton Rossoni received a 5 ½ year prison sentence and was ordered to repay approximately $717,000 in restitution. Late last year, Rossoni entered a guilty plea to charges including mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit both crimes. Rossoni's son was indicted along with his father, but federal investigators have been unable to locate him. Both defendants are originally from Brazil, but both are legal residents of the United States. After Rossoni completes his sentence he will also suffer immigration consequences as a result of his plea. Upon the expiration of his green card, he will be deported back to his country of origin.

Rossoni admitted running an internet scheme to defraud using the popular web portal and on-line auction, eBay. Rossoni purported to sell items including airline tickets, DVD collections and grills to online buyers. The indictment alleges that he took the payments, but failed to deliver any of the articles promised to the winning bidders. Overall, Rossini fraudulently took over $700,000 through more than 5,500 fraudulent internet transactions. Rossoni created e-mail accounts on AOL, Yahoo and other internet providers by using fake names and stolen identities. He then set up hundreds of eBay accounts using the fraudulent names and online accounts. He would then use pre-paid credit cards to purchase inexpensive items and provided feedback on the site to make him appear as a legitimate buyer and sellers of products.

After running items for sale including computer hard drives, sporting goods, luggage and appliances, he would instruct the winning bidder to send payment by check or money order made payable to fictitious names to 59 different private mail boxes throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County. Once Rossoni received the checks or money order he would deposit the funds into bank accounts at Bank of America and other South Florida banks under the same fraudulent names. Court papers indicated the internet fraud began in 2003 and operated until 2008 when Rossoni was arrested by the United States Postal Inspection Service.

The number of crimes involving fraud and identity theft have grown exponentially since the inception of the internet. Defendants can be charged with computer fraud when materially misrepresented indivation is transmitted over the internet with intent to commit a crime. When individuals commit internet fraud, usually some div of identity theft occurs. The federal government created the Internet Crime Complaint Center to receive internet fraud complaints and refer them to the appropriate investigative agency. If you or someone you know is contacted by investigators or has been arrested for allegedly committing internet fraud crime, contact a defense lawyer experienced in defending internet fraud cases in federal court.

It's Jail for eBay's Maestro of Fraud, The Miami Herald, February 4, 2010.
Categories: Internet Crimes