Fraudsters who made online accounts on some of the biggest websites on the internet to scam customers have been sentenced to a total of 90 months in prison.

The Mafia-inspired trio, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to money launder at Harrow Crown Court.

Constantin Florea, aged 36, Ion Buruleanu, 39 and Theodor Draghici, 32 all pleaded guilty to the £200,000 fraud at the court on April 21.

The men were identified as part of an organised crime gang, placing adverts for non-existent items on legitimate websites such as eBay, Gumtree, Autotrader and AirBnB.

They also created a website to sell their goods,, where customers paid for goods that were never shipped and so never received.

The gang were investigated by the Met's Fraud and Linked Crime Online (Falcon) in July 2016 after a case referral from Action Fraud.

They found 27 fraudulent accounts created in Summer and early Autumn that year.

Harrow Crown Court

Draghichi was given a two year and five month sentence and is believed to have taken advantage of his Scandanavian appearance by using counterfeit Danish passports to open the accounts in Bradford.

Buruleanu used instant messaging to communicate with fraudsters and withdrew money from the accounts, earning him 15 months in prison.

The ringleader, Florea, called himself "Provenzano" after the Italian mafia don of the same name and formed two companies, Denyflor Ltd and VIP Security Chauffeurs Ltd, as a front to launder the proceeds of this fraud.

Detective Constable Chris Collins, of the Met's Fraud and Linked Crime Online (Falcon) unit, said: "These men laundered a total of £203,000 that was stolen from hundreds of people who were tricked into paying for goods which were never delivered.

"Analysis of Florea's bank accounts revealed he lived a lavish lifestyle, including the purchase of a £17,000 Mercedes and a £23,000 BMW.

"This conviction demonstrates how the Met's Falcon team will arrest and prosecute anyone involved in criminal groups responsible for online scams which target members of the public."

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