Richard Pinedo, a California man unintentionally embroiled in the investigation of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, has agreed to a plea bargain, unsealed today by special counsel Robert Mueller. Mr. Pinedo, who was represented by Jeremy Lessem of Lessem, Newstat & Tooson LLP, has taken full responsibility for online identity fraud, but had absolutely no knowledge of the identities and motivations of any of the purchasers of the information he sold. The story broke nationally today, featured on CNN, shortly after the Justice Department announced charges against 13 Russian nationals.
In a statement today, Attorney Jeremy Lessem said, "Through an online website, Mr. Pinedo sold bank information which allowed individuals to fraudulently verify and establish accounts with online financial institutions…to the extent that Mr. Pinedo's actions assisted any individuals, including foreign nationals, from interfering in the American presidential election was done completely without his knowledge or understanding."
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