Whatever happened to the stoic Eastern European mobster? You know, the Viggo Mortensen type who communicates via grunts, cryptic tattoos, and the bludgeoning end of a fire extinguisher?
Meet 22-year-old Sunny Isles Beach luminary Jason Eibinder, arrested in January for his role in a massive Romania-based Internet fraud scheme. Last week, he uploaded a photo to Facebook showing him sitting in the passenger seat of an SUV while wearing an Ed Hardy T-shirt and winking at the camera. In his lap were what looked like at least 50 hundred-dollar bills.
The caption read, "I am just getting started. I'll be back soon," followed by, of course, a winking smiley-face.
Mind you, this was two months after Eibinder, who pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy, was sentenced to three years in federal prison and ordered to pay $303,837.30 in restitution to his victims.
But to any prosecutors or law enforcement officials reading this story: It should be noted that, in the photo, he is wearing a seat belt.
Eibinder was an "arrow," one of several South Florida-based co-conspirators for a Romanian crime ring that purported to sell expensive items -- cars, motorcycles, boats -- to victims on sites like Craigslist and eBay.
The gangsters would tell Internet buyers to send their money to bogus escrow companies, which were actually wire-transfer accounts where the money would then be withdrawn by U.S. cronies such as Eibinder, who would use fake identifications.
Needless to say, Bob in Topeka would not receive his Ski-Doo.
A couple of the arrows were caught in the act at a Texas Walmart. Detectives witnessed them withdrawing a $2,980 MoneyGram wire from an Internet victim. When cops searched their home, they found lots of money and a computer lab for making fake IDs.
More than 100 gangsters were arrested in Romania and the States. The feds claim the ring fleeced victims of $10 million, but Romanian news reports -- that wacky Transylvania Tattler! -- are pegging the take at nearly twice that. The international legal smackdown included the police departments of Hallandale Beach, Pembroke Pines, Miami Gardens, North Miami Beach, Davie, and Sunny Isles Beach.
We must say, we admire Jason Eibinder's party-rific attitude even as he prepares for 36 months of government meat loaf. One night last week, for example, our hero announced he was headed to Arkadia -- which sounds like the sort of club that welcomes Ed Hardy attire -- at midnight "with bottles doing it big."
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He added: "If you know me, you know how it can get."
No, we don't, Jason. You never responded to our Facebook message. :-(