ASHLAND A former Boyd County resident pleaded guilty Monday to a conspiracy charge related to an international wire fraud scheme that stretched to Romania.

Joshua Vallance, 32, entered a guilty plea to a sole count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in the U.S. District Court of Kentucky. He faces up to 20 years in prison for the conviction.

Federal court records show Vallance cleaned money for the “Alexandria Online Auction Fraud Network,” a Romanian-based crime ring that ran scams on eBay, Craigslist, Amazon and Auto Trader.

The network would use fake advertisements to steal personal information from fraud victims and set up bank accounts with them, according federal court records. The goods being advertised never existed, records show.

While living in Ashland, federal prosecutors said Vallance would take money from the ring and convert the money into cyptocurrency — online money like bitcoin. With “numerous individuals” employed by Vallance, federal prosecutors said he would set up bank accounts and post office boxes to receive and transfer funds, records show.

Over the course of his involvement, federal court records show Vallance cleaned more than $500,000 in illicit money.

A sentencing date has not been entered into the court docket.

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