June 14, 2004 – LAWFUEL – An Orange County man was sentenced today to 33 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to participating in an Internet auction fraud scheme and in a
second plot to defraud a bank out of $400,000.
Cole Bartiromo, 19, of Mission Viejo, was sentenced today in federal court in Los
Angeles by United States District Judge John F. Walter in Los Angeles. In addition
to the prison term, Judge Walter ordered Bartiromo to pay approximately $20,000 in
In the first case against Bartiromo, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire
fraud and mail fraud. Bartiromo admitted that he ran a scam in which he offered for
sale on e-Bay.com items such as cellular telephones and tire rims, collected money
from successful bidders across the United States and Canada, but never shipped the
Bartiromo also pleaded guilty to bank fraud for attempting to convince a Wells
Fargo Bank employee to wire $400,000 to him. Working with two co-defendants,
Bartiromo attempted to have the money wired from a Wells Fargo account to an
offshore account he had set up. Bartiromo also asked the Wells Fargo employee to
cash checks he had received in the Internet auction fraud scheme.
Bartiromo’s co-defendants – Theo Liu, 20, of Mission Viejo, and Oscar Godinez, 20,
of Lake Forest – have both been convicted of federal charges. Godinez pleaded
guilty to 1) conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and 2) bank fraud on
March 9. Godinez is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Walter on June 21. Liu was
convicted by a jury of the same two offenses on March 15, and he is scheduled to be
sentenced on June 28.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Orange
County Sheriff’s Department.