From 2014 to at least November 2017, Richard Pinedo Santa Paula created fraudulent bank accounts that were used by Russians by operating an online service called Auction Essistance, to circumvent large online digital payment companies’ security features.
Pinedo’s attorney Jeremy Lessem said his client admits he made a mistake and takes full responsibility.
“Through an online website, Mr. Pinedo sold bank information which allowed individuals to fraudulently verify and establish accounts with online financial institutions,” Pinedo said.
Lessem said Pinedo did not know what the account information was being used for or who was using it.
However, court documents state that Pinedo bought the information from someone who he knew did not live in the United States, and also knew that the account information he was selling was coming from people outside the country.