Russian Mafia Arrests – 6.9.17

9:59 AM 6/9/2017

Russian Mafia Arrests – 6.9.17

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Russian ‘thief-in-law’ arrested in Las Vegas, faces multiple charges – Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Federal prosecutors on Wednesday announced racketeering charges against more than two dozen reputed Russian mobsters and associates, including Razhden Shulaya, the alleged leader of a Soviet mafia syndicate who is accused of running gambling, stolen goods and protection rackets in several states across the country.

Shulaya was arrested in Las Vegas Wednesday morning, and appeared in federal court for a brief hearing later in the day. U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley ordered his transfer to New York, where the case is being prosecuted.

“I understand what they accused me of, but I just don’t understand why,” the 40-year-old Shulaya, a Russian national, said through a translator after the judge asked him if he understood the charges contained in the seven-count indictment against him and other members of the New York City-based “Shulaya Enterprise.”

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Authorities describe Shulaya as a “vor v zakone,” a Russian term for “thief-in-law” that refers to an elite order of Soviet criminals. The indictment provides an image of a powerful crime boss who collected “tribute payments” from loyal subordinates and violently retaliated against lower-ranking criminals who failed to pay up.

The Shulaya Enterprise’s alleged crimes were detailed in three indictments unsealed in New York City. Among the more shocking allegations is a charge that the group used a female member to seduce men, incapacitate them with gas and rob them. The indictments also included accusations of traditional mob crimes such as illegal gambling, cigarette trafficking, bribery, extortion and credit card fraud — along with more unusual charges, such as the theft of a cargo shipment of 10,000 pounds of chocolate. A related criminal complaint, in which Shulaya was not charged, focused on a murder-for-hire conspiracy.

‘Extremely violent history’

The reputed “vor,” who was taken into federal custody after his arrest, displayed little emotion during his afternoon court hearing Wednesday. He sat at the defense table, shrugging occasionally and sliding his feet in and out of sandals while the judge addressed him. Authorities say he used his substantial criminal underworld influence to run illegal operations in several states, including Nevada, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Burns described Shulaya as a “high-level member of Russia’s organized crime mafia” with an “extremely violent history.” Russian authorities, Burns said, had a notice out for his arrest on kidnap-for-ransom charges. Shulaya, however, is expected to remain in this country for the immediate future as the United States does not have an extradition treaty with Russia.

In a statement released Wednesday, acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim, who is overseeing prosecution, accused the Shulaya Enterprise of engaging in a “panoply of crimes around the country.” Kim said the case represented “one of the first federal racketeering charges ever brought against a Russian ‘vor.’”

‘Dizzying array’ of criminal schemes

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The prosecutor accused Shulaya and his associates of a “dizzying array” of criminal schemes, which included an illegal poker business the group ran in Brooklyn. Shulaya and one of the other defendants also are accused of investing in an after-hours club in New York, and then bribing local law enforcement officers so they could use the business to sell drugs to customers.

The indictment provides few details about the extent of criminal activity in Las Vegas, but it suggests that it involved the use of counterfeit credit cards and identity theft.

Those indicted Wednesday also were accused of trying to defraud casinos in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. According to the indictment, federal investigators intercepted a telephone call between Shulaya and one of his co-defendants this year in which the two men discussed the operability of devices that could predict the behavior of electronic slot machines at casinos.

Authorities say Shulaya and others charged in the case sent portions of their mob profits back to mafia members and associates in Russia, Georgia and Ukraine.

The reputed gangsters’ efforts to avoid prosecution also were detailed in the indictment, which says members of the criminal enterprise spoke in coded language and used encrypted communication to thwart law enforcement. Meanwhile, federal investigators wiretapped phone conversations and gathered information from confidential informants, who negotiated the sale of stolen jewelry and other goods from members of the conspiracy.

“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,” New York Police Department Commissioner James P. O’Neill said in a statement released Wednesday.

Thirty-three defendants were charged in the indictments, 27 of whom are said to be associated with the racketeering enterprise led by Shulaya. Twenty-three of the defendants are in federal custody.

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Contact Jenny Wilson at <a href=”mailto:jenwilson@reviewjournal.com”>jenwilson@reviewjournal.com</a> or 702-384-8710. Follow @jennydwilson on Twitter.

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Razhden Shulaya to face 65-year-imprisonment, 2 killers of gang to be sentenced for life

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Two killers of the gang might face life sentence.+

On several counts 40-year-old thief in law Razhden Shulaya also known as Razhden Pitersky, Roma and Brat, can be sentenced to 65 years in the United States, the US Department of Justice said. +

In addition, for the committed crimes the thief in law will face up a fine of not less than $1.250.000. +

Other members of the criminal group, who were charged yesterday by the Prosecutor’s Office of the Southern District of New York, are threatened with various terms of imprisonment – from 25 to life imprisonment. In particular, the members of the Razhden Pitersky gang Nikoloz Dzhikia and Bakai Marat-Uulu can be sentenced to life imprisonment for contract killings. +

Earlier it became known that in the state of New York, 33 representatives of the Russian mafia, led by thief in law  Razhden Shulaya  were charged. 27 of them were detained, five more are still on the wanted list. +

After the names of the detainees were published, it became clear that 15 of them were Georgian citizens, including two world-famous athletes – World Boxing Champion Avtandil Khurtsidze and MMA fighter Levan Makashvili, who competed in UFC championships. +

Khurtsidze commented on his arrest on Facebook, describing what happened as a “big misunderstanding.” He noted that he arrived in New York to prepare for a fight with Billy Joe Saunders, which, is to be held only on July 8, and in London. +

Depending on the role of each, members of the OCG are accused of various crimes – from smuggling cigarettes, storing drugs, racketeering, selling stolen goods and giving bribes, to with theft of large loads, organizing illegal gambling, storing and selling weapons, robberies, drug trafficking and contract killings. +

Our
notes

Razhden Shulaya, 40, is a Georgian thief in law, who was thief-crowned at the age of 36 at a Cyprus meeting in May 2013. Other criminals that got their crowns that day are Dato Krasnodarsky (later discrowned), Bondo Kazakhstansky, Goga Kutaissky, Ilo Kaliningradsky and Artem Saratovsky. Those who approved the “coronation” were Antik, Koka, Matevich, Givi Tbilissky, Merab Sukhumsky, Tsripa Kutaissky, Robinson, Takhi, Osetrina and some others. According to the investigation, the criminal syndicate is involved in the organization of illegal poker clubs in the New York area where immigrants from the post-Soviet states live and in a fraud on casino slot machines using electronic hacking devices in Atlantic City (New Jersey) and Philadelphia (Pennsylvania).

ragd2.jpgAccording to the US law enforcement agencies, thief in law Razhden Shulaya was the person that created the criminal enterprise accused of a number of crimes. Shulaya has been living in New Jersey lately, and the other mobsters resided mainly in New York’s Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. +

The district attorney also mentioned the extensive ties Shulaya had in the underworld that contributed to establishing strong links with the criminals of post-Soviet countries like Georgia, Ukraine and Russia. +

Most of the gang members were born in the Soviet Union, traveled regularly to its former states and contacted individuals associated with criminal activity of the gang, the US Justice Department said. +

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US Police Arrests 33 including 15 Georgians for Various Crimes

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Thirty-three suspected members of an organized Russian crime syndicate were arrested with a variety of charges, including racketeering, fraud, narcotics, firearms, and stolen property offenses.

The information was released by the United States (US) Department of Justice on Thursday.

The Justice Department reports that 27 out of the detained 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.

The US Attorney’s Office of Southern District of New York says that Charged Defendants Include Alleged “Vor” or “Thief-In-Law” of a Russian and Georgian Criminal Enterprise.

“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,” the statement reads.

The office says that the charges include:

  • Theft of cargo shipments, including approximately 10,000 pounds of chocolate confections.
  • Having females seduce men, incapacitate them with gas, and then rob them.
  • Selling untaxed cigarettes.
  • Scheming to pay bribes for law-enforcement officials.
  • Operating illegal poker businesses and extorting gamblers who became indebted to them.
  • Plans to defraud casinos in Atlantic City and Philadelphia by using electronics that could predict the behavior of slot machines.

According to the allegations in the Indictments and complaint unsealed in Manhattan federal court, Shulaya Enterprise was an organized criminal group operating under the direction and protection of RAZHDEN SHULAYA a/k/a “Brother,” a/k/a “Roma,” a “vor v zakone” or “vor,” which are Russian phrases translated roughly as “thief-in-law” or “thief.”

“Most members and associates of the Shulaya Enterprise were born in the former Soviet Union and many maintained substantial ties to Georgia, the Ukraine, and the Russian Federation, including regular travel to those countries, communication with associates in those countries, and the transfer of criminal proceeds to individuals in those countries,” the statement reads.

By Thea Morrison

09 June 2017 11:59

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russian organized crime in us – Google News: US Police Arrests 33 including 15 Georgians for Various Crimes – Georgia Today

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US Police Arrests 33 including 15 Georgians for Various Crimes
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Thirty-three suspected members of an organized Russian crime syndicate were arrested with a variety of charges, including racketeering, fraud, narcotics, firearms, and stolen property offenses. The information was released by the United States (US) …

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russia as mafia state – Google News: Russian mafia in US: Razhden Shulaya to face 65-year-imprisonment, 2 killers of gang to be sentenced for life – https://en.crimerussia.com/

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Russian mafia in US: Razhden Shulaya to face 65-year-imprisonment, 2 killers of gang to be sentenced for life
https://en.crimerussia.com/
On several counts 40-year-old thief in law Razhden Shulaya also known as Razhden Pitersky, Roma and Brat, can be sentenced to 65 years in the United States, the US Department of Justice said. +. In addition, for the committed crimes the thief in law

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Russian Gang Hacked Slot Machines and Plotted Over Stolen Sweets, U.S. Says Wednesday June 7th, 2017 at 9:03 PM | Palmer Report: Feds arrest dozens of Russian mobsters whose crimes involve Atlantic City casinos by Bill Palmer Wednesday June 7th, 2017 at 6:46 PM

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Russian Gang Hacked Slot Machines and Plotted Over Stolen Sweets, U.S. Says

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Mark Galeotti, a Russian crime specialist at the Institute of International Relations Prague in the Czech Republic, said the case showed how Russian and other Eurasian crime groups had sought to move into new and often ingenious areas of illegal activity, like trying to beat casino machines through hacking.

“What surprises me actually is they were still involved in the traditional types of crime,” Mr. Galeotti said in a telephone interview after being told about the charges.

Most of those charged were accused of being part of a nationwide racketeering enterprise led by Razhden Shulaya of Edgewater, N.J., who faces racketeering conspiracy and other counts.

Mr. Shulaya, 40, was described in the indictment as a “vor v zakonei” or “vor,” which it said were Russian phrases that translate roughly as “thief-in-law” and refer to “an order of elite criminals from the former Soviet Union” who, among other things, receive tribute from other criminals.

“As a vor,” the indictment said, “Shulaya had substantial influence in the criminal underworld and offered assistance to and protection of the members and associates” of the enterprise.

Joon H. Kim, the acting United States attorney in Manhattan, said the case was one of the first federal racketeering charges ever brought against a Russian vor. Mr. Kim announced the unsealing of the charges with William F. Sweeney Jr., the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York office; James P. O’Neill, the New York police commissioner; and Leon Hayward, acting head of Customs and Border Protection’s New York office.

The authorities unsealed a total of three indictments and one criminal complaint. A lawyer for Mr. Shulaya could not immediately be reached for comment.

The documents showed that investigators relied on cooperating informers. One, described as CS-1, had been arrested in a murder-for-hire plot involving Russian organized crime and had served about six years in prison, the complaint said. Since being released, the complaint noted, the informer has worked for the F.B.I. as a paid source.

The authorities offered few details about the slot-machine scheme. In January, they said, Mr. Shulaya was overheard in a phone call discussing the testing of devices that would predict slot-machine behavior; in another call, he was told about the reconnaissance of a casino that featured a particular model of slot machine that would be susceptible to the device.

In April, the device was used in a casino near Philadelphia, netting the group more than $1,000, one of the indictments said.

“Using computers is second nature to many of these groups,” said Mr. Galeotti, the expert in Russian crime. He added that when people hear about Russian organized crime, they often have an image of a stereotypical Russian thug.

“Yes, there are tattooed thugs around,” he noted. “But actually the kind of Russian gangster one sees in America is more likely to be a fraudster, a hacker or semi-criminal businessman.”

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FBI arrests ten people in New York City with alleged ties to Donald Trump and Russian mafia

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The FBI and NYPD Joint Organized Crime Task Force have arrested ten men in New York City today on charges of running a racketeering conspiracy as part of an organized crime effort. What’s notable is that these men and their crime family have alleged ties to the Russian mafia and to Donald Trump – raising the question of whether this move was made as part of the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Trump and Russia.

The ten men arrested today are associates of the Bonanno organized crime family (source: NBC New York). But a bit of digging by the Democratic Coalition Against Trump has revealed that a lawsuit alleges that same crime family is partnered with Russian businessman Felix Sater (link). Sater has a long history of financial ties to both Donald Trump and the Russian mafia, and in fact has done prison time for his Russian mafia ties (source: Esquire). So it’s not difficult to draw a straight line from today’s arrests to Trump and Russia. But what is the FBI suddenly up to?

If today’s ten FBI-NYPD arrests are indeed related to the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation, as the connections suggest, it may be an instance of rounding up the lower level mafia associates in order to see which of them is willing to cut a deal by selling out their bosses. This could also be a sign that the FBI is further along in its Trump-Russia investigation than had been believed, having completed its phase of gathering information externally, in favor of a phase of actively prompting little fish to flip on bigger fish, presumably leading all the way up to Trump and his direct associates. Contribute to Palmer Report

 

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Deadly Russian Gangsters Smuggled Insane Amount of Chocolate, Feds Say

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While some gangs pull sophisticated hacking heists to steal Jeeps, and others focus on robbing high-profile graves, some, apparently, deal in the lucrative underground market of chocolate trafficking, according to NBC New York.

On Wednesday, the FBI arrested members of a Russian organized crime syndicate on a range of serious charges. Along with racketeering, contract killing, extortion, and credit card fraud, some members of the Shulaya Enterprise were allegedly trafficking 10,000 pounds of stolen chocolate, according to a Department of Justice press release.

Sadly, there still aren’t too many details available regarding why a crime syndicate might have an interest in stealing and selling chocolate, or how one manages to procure such a vast quantity of the stuff. But according to the federal complaint, the gang had a wide range of maniacal schemes in the works—including robbing people by seducing them and drugging them with chloroform, and running an illegal poker business.

The feds believe that 33 members of the gang—which reportedly has ties to Ukraine, Georgia, and Russia—were involved in running their “dizzying array of criminal schemes” in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Nevada. While 23 members were taken into federal custody Wednesday—including suspected ringleaders Razhden Shulaya and Zurab Dzhanashvili—many are still reportedly on the loose.

The suspected chocolate culprits are slated to see their first day in federal court later on Wednesday, at which point more details about their case should surface. Hopefully, we can all get a little more insight on what the hell anyone would do with five tons of stolen chocolate, besides melt it into a giant river and swim in it like Augustus Gloop.

Palmer Report: Feds arrest dozens of Russian mobsters whose crimes involve Atlantic City casinos

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The United States federal government announced today that it has arrested dozens of members of a Russian crime syndicate for a long list of alleged crimes. This raises the inevitable question of whether these arrests relate to the FBI’s ongoing and broadening investigation into Donald Trump’s Russian connections and financial dealings. There’s one clue in the press release that may provide insight.

The various charges against these alleged Russian mobsters include everything but the kitchen sink: “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,” according to the Justice Department website (link). Stealing ten thousand pounds of chocolate might be one of the strangest mafia crimes of all time. But the details of the casino related crimes are what may or may not give away what’s really going on here.

Here’s the detail stands out: the alleged crimes include “efforts to defraud casinos in Atlantic City and Philadelphia by using electronic devices and computer servers to predict and exploit the behavior of electronic slot machines.” Donald Trump had two casinos in Atlantic City, including the Taj Mahal. He retained an ownership stake in it all the way up through 2015 before he he bailed out, and then it ultimately went out of business altogether.

As Palmer Report has previously reported (link), the U.S. Treasury Department busted the Trump Taj Mahal for participating in money laundering in early 2016, in the form of a multimillion dollar fine. Donald Trump still owned a stake in the Taj Mahal at the time. The Senate Intelligence Committee has recently taken an interest in that money laundering bust, and has asked the Treasury Department for additional details.

So maybe the Feds have moved in on these Russian mobsters because they’re the same ones who who were laundering money through Trump’s Atlantic City casino, and now the Feds want to get them to flip against Donald Trump himself. Or maybe this is simply a standard issue takedown of a crime syndicate and it has nothing to do with the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation at all. We’ll find out eventually.

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