A Cameroonian man pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to participating in an online scam selling puppies that were never delivered.
Desmond Fodge Bobga, 28, pleaded guilty via video to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer in Pittsburgh.
He will be sentenced on April 8.
Bobga, 28, was extradited from Romania where he was attending college, to Pittsburgh in April to answer the charges against him.
He has been held in custody ever since.
Federal prosecutors allege that the scam was ongoing from June 2018 to June 2020, and that Bobga created a website, lovelyhappypuppy.com, that listed a variety of puppies for sale.
Once his online customers made their first payment, he would request additional funds, saying the money was necessary for shipping, vaccinations, false USDA certifications and covid-19 quarantine.
Investigators identified six victims, including people living in the local communities of Pittsburgh, Cheswick, Marion Center, New Brighton and Texas and Iowa.
The person from New Brighton paid $9,100 to purchase a mini-dachshund for her mother in mid-March 2020, prosecutors said.
The victim from Iowa paid $1,840, also for a mini-dachshund.
The scheme included Bobga and others texting and email potential victims; providing false tracking numbers for the pets; and them posing as the transportation company, the government said.
None of the puppies were never delivered.
“Desmond Fodje Bobga exploited consumers who were seeking the companionship of a pet to alleviate the isolation and stress caused by the covid pandemic,” Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman said in a written statement.
Source link : https://triblive.com/local/cameroonian-man-pleads-guilty-in-pittsburgh-to-role-in-online-puppy-scam/
Publish date : 2021-11-10 21:26:31