The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:
A criminal complaint unsealed Friday in federal court in Pittsburgh charges Desmond Fodje Bobga for his alleged involvement in a puppy fraud scheme perpetrated against American consumers. Fodje Bobga, 27, is a citizen of Cameroon who is in Romania on a visa to attend a university there.
Victim 1, of New Brighton, Pennsylvania, was seeking to purchase a mini-dachshund puppy for her mother in mid-March of 2020. Victim 1 was induced to lose $9,100 due to false claims that the puppy was being shipped, needed insurance, and was exposed to COVID-19;
Victim 2 of Fruitland, Iowa, was seeking to purchase a mini dachshund puppy for herself in mid-March of 2020. False claims induced Victim 2 to lose $1,840;
Victim 3 of Marion Center, Pennsylvania, was seeking to purchase a teacup Chihuahua and paid $600. Victim 3 became suspicious when asked for an additional $800 for shipping. Fodje Bobga allegedly provided a false Refundable Crate and Vaccine Guarantee Document, purported to have been issued by and containing the seal of the Supreme Court of the United States, in an attempt to induce Victim 3 to pay the additional charges. Victim 3 lost $600;
Victim 4 is a Dallas, Texas, couple who were seeking to purchase a dog. Following the payment of $950 for the agreed upon dog named Snow White, the couple was contacted regarding issues with shipment and induced to pay $850 more by Zelle, an online payment service. The couple was contacted again with the claim that payment did not go through due to the wrong name being listed, but refused to resend $850. Victim 4 lost $1,800;
Victim 5 of Cheswick, Pennsylvania, was seeking to purchase a Chihuahua named Bentley for $600. After sending a $600 MoneyGram to the alleged seller, Victim 5 was contacted repeatedly regarding problems with payments, transportation issues and the need to purchase a U.S. Department of Agriculture permit. Victim 5 lost $1,500;
Victim 6 of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was searching for a puppy online but became suspicious and did not send any payments. According to the complaint, 55 text messages were exchanged with Victim 6’s phone number, between Jan. 23, 2020, and Jan. 24, 2020, that attempted to induce Victim 6 to pay for a puppy.