Man Pleads Guilty in eBay and PayPal Scheme in Alexandria

by Lee Hernly, Editor

eBay and PayPal Scheme to Steal Special Agent’s Identity

Seal_of_the_United_States_Department_of_Justice.svgRohit Jawa, 25, formerly of Cincinnati, Ohio, pleaded guilty yesterday to an indictment charging him with eight counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Based on court documents, from at least February 2013 through June 16, 2015, the defendant devised and executed a complex identity theft scheme to defraud financial institutions, insurance companies, and others. The defendant managed numerous PayPal accounts that were engaged in a scheme to defraud eBay buyers and eBay’s third-party parcel insurance company. During this period, the defendant repeatedly transferred money representing the proceeds of his fraud scheme from and between accounts he controlled in victim names to accounts he controlled in his own name. In connection with this scheme, the defendant stole the identity of a Special Agent of the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS-OIG), and then used that identity to fraudulently gain access to law enforcement databases from which he stole personal identifying information of multiple victims. The defendant then used the identifying information of those individuals to open further fraudulent financial accounts in their names, without their knowledge or consent.

Jawa was indicted by a federal grand jury on Aug. 13, 2015. Jawa faces a mandatory minimum of two years in prison and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on Feb. 12, 2016. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Zane E. Bridges, Chief of Digital Investigative Services for USPS-OIG, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office Cyber Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Whitney Dougherty Russell is prosecuting the case.

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