The Court of Appeal of Eastern Finland has sentenced a man from Lappeenranta to a 10-month suspended prison sentence for aggravated money laundering.
Electronics and household appliances had been ordered from two Finnish online stores using payment fraud. The convict retrieved the goods and forwarded them on to Russia.
The court upheld the conviction but reduced an earlier sentence imposed by the District Court of South Karelia by one month.
According to the court of appeals, the man, in his late 30s, was guilty of aggravated money laundering because he accepted and forwarded to Russia electronics and household appliances fraudulently obtained from Finnish retailers in 2017. The appeals court found that the convict had funnelled some 90,000 euros’ worth of goods illegally across the border.
In January, prosecutors said that more than 400 orders had been made from one online store and more than 640 from the other, and estimated that the goods were worth a total of about 250,000 euros.
Purchases made with US and Canadian credit cards
The goods had been ordered from Russia by unknown individuals. The orders were paid for with US and Canadian credit cards that had been copied or otherwise fraudulently controlled.
The perpetrator claimed that he was unaware that the delivered goods had been illegally obtained. He had also calculated that the value of the transferred goods was significantly lower than the court’s estimate.
The court ruled that the man must have known that the goods had most likely been acquired illegally, citing messages exchanged between the man and his main client.
The orders had been made under several fake names using fictional addresses in Lappeenranta and several different prepaid numbers and IP addresses.
The perpetrator had picked up the shipments from post offices and Matkahuolto package delivery offices in the eastern cities of Lappeenranta and Imatra, near the Russian border.
The man may still seek to appeal the case to the Supreme Court.