19 charged in international conspiracies

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Officials say 19 people have been charged with taking part in international fraud and money laundering conspiracies that led to more than $13 million in losses.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia said Wednesday in a statement that 17 defendants have been arrested. Two others remain at large. The office says arrests took place in New York, Los Angeles, Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany and Israel and follow a multi-year investigation.

Officials said in one scheme that operated out of Europe co-conspirators falsely advertised cars for sale on the internet. Buyers deposited money into bank accounts but never received any vehicles. In an outgrowth of that scheme, employees at mid-sized and large companies were tricked into wiring money into accounts controlled by members of the criminal enterprise.

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