Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Leon Hayward, Acting Director of the New York Field Office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the unsealing of three Indictments and one Complaint charging 33 defendants with a variety of racketeering, fraud, narcotics, firearms, and stolen property offenses.
Of the charged defendants, 27 are associated with a nationwide racketeering enterprise led by RAZHDEN SHULAYA and ZURAB DZHANASHVILI and are charged in United States v. Razhden Shulaya, et al. (the “Shulaya Indictment”) and an accompanying superseding indictment, which has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest. Of those defendants, 23 were taken into federal custody. 18 will be presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein today. One defendant will be presented in the District of Nevada. Three defendants will be presented in the Southern District of Florida. DENIS SAVGIR, EREKLE KERESELIDZE, GIORGI LOMISHVILI, MAMUKA CHAGANAVA, and SEMYON SARAIDAROV remain at large. One defendant, TIMUR SUYUNOV, is currently detained in federal custody and will be brought to Manhattan federal court on a writ.
Two additional defendants are charged in United States v. Nikoloz Jikia, et al. (the “Marat-Uulu Complaint”), with conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and with additional firearms offenses. Of those defendants, one of whom is also charged in the Shulaya Indictment, both were taken into federal custody last evening and will be presented before Judge Gorenstein today.
Three additional defendants are charged in United States v. Alex Fishman, et al. (the “Fishman Indictment”), which has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Richard J. Sullivan. Each of those three defendants was taken into federal custody today and will be presented before Judge Gorenstein this afternoon.
Finally, one additional defendant was charged in United States v. Sergey Gindinov (the “Gindinov Indictment”), which has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan. GINDINOV was taken into federal custody today and will be presented this afternoon before Judge Gorenstein.
Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “Today, we have charged 33 members and associates of a Russian organized crime syndicate allegedly engaging a panoply of crimes around the country. The indictments include charges against the alleged head of this national criminal enterprise, one of the first federal racketeering charges ever brought against a Russian ‘vor.’ The dizzying array of criminal schemes committed by this organized crime syndicate allegedly include a murder-for-hire conspiracy, a plot to rob victims by seducing and drugging them with chloroform, the theft of cargo shipments containing over 10,000 pounds of chocolate, and a fraud on casino slot machines using electronic hacking devices. Thanks to the remarkable interagency partnership of FBI, CBP, and NYPD, we have charged and arrested 33 defendants allegedly involved in this criminal enterprise.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “The suspects in this case cast a wide net of criminal activity, aiming to make as much money as possible, all allegedly organized and run by a man who promised to protect them. But that protection didn't include escaping justice and being arrested by the agents and detectives on the FBI New York Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force. Our partnerships with other FBI field offices, the NYPD and CBP allows us to do everything we can to go after criminals who don't believe the law applies to them.”
Acting CBP New York Director Leon Hayward said: “U.S. Customs and Border Protection is extremely proud to have assisted our federal partners in this operation. It is through our interagency partnerships, and collaborative approaches like the one leading to today’s arrests, that law enforcement successfully combats modern criminal organizations.”
NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said: “The Thief-in-Law allegedly established an extensive cross country criminal enterprise from Brighton Beach to Las Vegas that engaged in bribes, gambling, and murder for hire. Thanks to all whose work resulted in the arrest and indictment of 33 today.”