Fraudsters selling non-existent cars to military and volunteers to be tried in Poltava region

Fraudsters selling non-existent cars to military and volunteers to be tried in Poltava region
Fraudsters selling non-existent cars to military and volunteers to be tried in Poltava region Ukraine news 24 Jul 2023 at 16:00

Police investigators in Poltava region, under the procedural guidance of the Poltava Regional Prosecutor's Office, have sent an indictment to court against 5 individuals who were part of an organized group. They operated under the guise of a fictitious automobile company and, through well-known online platforms, purportedly sold allegedly confiscated foreign cars at favorable prices. The undervalued prices of the vehicles listed for sale were explained by them as being determined by a court decision. During the pre-trial investigation, it was determined that at least 14 buyers fell victim to this scam, transferring money to the fraudsters. Among the victims were military personnel and volunteers who intended to purchase passenger cars and pickups for use in the conflict zone. Law enforcement officers established the involvement of five residents of Kremenchuk, aged 24 to 26, in online fraud schemes.

To create the impression of legitimate business activities, the conspirators created a website for the fictitious company and developed a standard electronic contract for the delivery and sale of cars, which they sent to clients via messenger apps. They also promised to register the agreement in the appropriate registry. The fraudsters would take an advance payment from each client, ranging from 10% to 50% of the total vehicle cost, depending on the make and year of manufacture. The money was deposited into bank cards registered under false names. The total financial damage inflicted on the deceived clients exceeds half a million hryvnias.

During authorized searches at the addresses of the suspects in Kyiv and Kremenchuk, investigators seized dozens of mobile phones, bank cards from various financial institutions, over a hundred SIM cards, laptops, tablets, documents, cash, flash drives, a MERCEDES-BENZ car, and other physical evidence.

Investigators found that the deception did not end with a single advance payment. After the transaction, the pseudo-managers of the company would contact the client by phone, informing them of an unsuccessful previous operation and the need to resend funds to the account details provided in the electronic contract. In some cases, this tactic allowed the accomplices to receive nearly the entire agreed-upon amount from the buyer.

An indictment against the organizer, three members of the criminal group, and one accomplice to their criminal activity has been sent to the Avtozavodsky District Court of Kremenchuk. The leader of the organized group faces charges not only of fraud but also of purchasing and possessing firearms and ammunition without legal permits, as well as committing a legal act with illegally obtained funds.


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