Federal authorities arrested two immigrants in connection with an alleged Internet wire fraud scam that spanned from California to Nashville, according to an indictment that was unsealed in federal court on Thursday.
Aleksandar Kunkin and Beatrix Boka were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud in July after the FBI and Bank of America cyber fraud teams uncovered their alleged scam.
According to the criminal complaint, Boka and Kunkin opened multiple bank accounts using fraudulent Hungarian passports.
Authorities believe the team would negotiate deals to sell nonexistent items on eBay and Autotrader.com. When money was wired into their accounts in exchange for the items, they would quickly transfer the money to an account abroad, though customers never received any of the items they bought.
Kunkin and Boka were residing at the Sun Suites Extended Stay Hotel in Madison in June when they carried out several scams, according to court filings. A man in California and another in Wyoming exchanged emails and agreed to buy cars from Boka and Kunkin to buy cars. They were collectively scammed out of more than $40,000.
In one of the cases, $18,000 was transferred to a bank in Slovenia for a beneficiary in Romania, the complaint revealed.
A Metro Nashville Police Department officer in Madison arrested Kunkin in June while he tried to open a Bank of America account with fake identification. At the time, he was sentenced to 17 days in jail for forgery.
Boka then took off for Kennesaw, Ga., where she was arrested for allegedly attempting to open an account several days later.
Both of the defendants are currently detained. They will be tried in U.S. District Court of Middle Tennessee.