Bulgarian Crypto Exchange Owner Guilty of Money Laundering

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  • The founder of crypto exchange RG Coins has been found guilty of money laundering
  • Rossen Iossifov was part of a huge operation that scammed victims out of their money through fake auction site listings
  • 17 of the gang have either pleaded guilty or been convicted in court

A Bulgarian crypto exchange owner has been convicted of running a multi-million-dollar money laundering ring as part of an international auction fraud scam. Rossen Iossifov, one of more than a dozen involved in the scheme which was operated from a Romanian car wash, was found guilty by a jury in Frankfort, Kentucky, of conspiracy to commit money laundering and racketeering. Proceeds from the scam were laundered through two crypto exchanges, Iossifov’s RG Coins and CoinFlux, which was owned by fellow defendant Vlad Nistor.

Auction Sites Used to Lure Victims

The racket began in December 2013 and involved Iossifov’s accomplices posting advertisements on popular auction sites like eBay and Craigslist for high-value goods such as vehicles that did not exist.

The victims, said to number some 900, were provided with fraudulent documents and invoices featuring the trademarks and branding of reputable companies so as to appear genuine and convinced to pay for the items up front.

Crypto Exchange Used to Launder Funds

The payments were laundered through one of the two crypto exchanges, while irate customers were placated by “support staff” – really just other gang members. The jury found that Iossifov provided services to the criminal syndicate through his Crypto exchange from September 2015 until December 2018 and possibly longer, exchanging more than $4.9 million worth of Bitcoin for the organization.

Iossifov is the 17th defendant to have been convicted in the case, which saw 15 gang members plead guilty in June following their extradition to the U.S. One of these was Nistor, who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder money after washing over $1.8 million through the CoinFlux exchange.

Three accused members of the ring remain at large, with Romanian authorities on the lookout for them.