French Make Major CEO Fraud
March 6, 2018
searches in France have led to the arrests of two individuals
suspected of large-scale CEO fraud. The criminals belonged to an
organized crime group involved in at least 24 cases of CEO fraud
causing EUR 4.6 million worth of damage. With the support of
Europol, the French National Gendarmerie carried out the
searches in Paris and Lille and made the subsequent arrests on
20 February 2018.
The French National Gendarmerie organized an operational meeting
in Bordeaux on 14 February where experts and investigators from
Belgium, Romania, Israel and Switzerland joined French law
enforcement specialists, exchanged their findings and agreed on
a mutual action plan for the near future.
The investigation was launched in June 2016 when French law
enforcement discovered two French companies had fallen victim to
CEO fraud, incurring an estimated EUR 1.2 million in losses.
The criminal investigation identified around 15 alleged Romanian
company managers living in France and Belgium. They opened bank
accounts and companies with the sole purpose of orchestrating
CEO fraud and Forex scams . Two individuals (one French and one
Belgian national), who were identified as recruiters and
facilitators within the criminal group, were in charge of
helping people set up companies (such as law firms and notaries)
with Romanian bank accounts. The bank accounts were then used to
transfer money to Hong Kong by wiring it via different bank
accounts in Romania.
total of five house searches were carried out in different
locations across Belgium resulting in the arrests of five
suspects acting as money mules for the organized crime group. A
computer and nine mobile phones were also seized during the
searches. The data extracted from the mobile phones will be
analyzed by French law enforcement and cross-checked against
The suspects arrested in Paris and Lille seem to be closely
linked to the ring leader(s) most probably hiding in Israel,
where computers and mobile phones have also been seized.
The suspects are accused of fraud, money laundering and being
involved in organized crime.
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