Mueller Probe: California Man Who Sold Stolen IDs to Russians to Be Sentenced
A man accused of operating an online auction service that trafficked stolen IDs to Russian conspirators will be sentenced Wednesday as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Mueller’s office accuses Richard Pinedo of helping Russians launder money as well as pay for Facebook ads and rally supplies. Pinedo pleaded guilty to one count of identity fraud in February, but his attorney, Jeremy Lessem, has said his client had no knowledge of the identities or motivations of people who bought his products. The criminal charge against Pinedo was announced by Mueller’s office at the same time it unveiled indictments against 13 Russians and three Russian companies on charges they adopted fake online personas to interfere in U.S. politics. Pinedo faces as much as 18 months in prison and a maximum fine of $55,000.