News and Press Releases

Defendant Convicted in Counterfeit Cashier's Check Ring

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2004

Las Vegas, Nev. -  A California man who traveled from southern California to Las Vegas in June 2002 for the purpose of cashing high-dollar counterfeit cashier's checks at a Las Vegas casino, has been convicted by a U.S. District Court jury of four felony counts, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

JIMMY LEUNG, age 33, of Los Angeles, California, was convicted late this afternoon of Conspiracy, Possessing and Uttering of Counterfeit Securities, Fraudulent Use and Possession of Identification Documents, and Bank Fraud for his role in the counterfeit check scheme which involved at least 11 other men. The trial began yesterday, and was presided over by United States District Court Judge Larry R. Hicks.

According to the court records, on May 20, 2002, JIMMY LEUNG and co-defendant Aziz Massomipour (currently a fugitive), traveled from California to Nevada to meet with an individual they believed to be an employee of the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas who would facilitate the cashing of the counterfeit cashier's checks. The individual was actually an undercover detective with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. LEUNG advised the undercover detective that they had the ability to produce counterfeit checks drawn on a legitimate southern California bank, and that they had previously been successful in cashing one of the counterfeit checks at a Las Vegas casino. LEUNG and Massomipour stated that they had different "runners" who could assist in cashing the checks and that they could make counterfeit identification documents to match the names on the counterfeit checks. The undercover officer made arrangements to meet LEUNG, Massomipour, and the runners at the MGM Grand on June 12, 2002, where they could use the detective's undercover role as a casino host to facilitate the cashing of the counterfeit cashier's checks.

On June 12, 2002, LEUNG and Massomipour waited in hotel rooms at the MGM Grand while the undercover detective escorted three others, Jaman Kahn, Hans Walton, and Henry Davis to the cashier's cage where they presented three counterfeit cashier's checks totaling $600,000. Officers arrested Kahn, Walton, and Davis at the cashier's cage, and LEUNG, Massomipour, and three others were arrested shortly thereafter in MGM hotel rooms where they had been waiting.

LEUNG, Massomipour, Walton, Davis, Khan, Mohammad Nadery, and Asatour Magzanian were indicted by a federal grand jury on June 18, 2002. A Superseding Indictment was returned against LEUNG and Massomipour on October 7, 2003. Massomipour was released from custody following his arrest and is currently a fugitive; Magzanian, Khan, Walton, and Davis pleaded guilty to Counterfeit Securities; and Nadery is awaiting formal acceptance into a pretrial diversion program. The five other men who traveled to Las Vegas with LEUNG have not been charged federally.

In March 2003, JIMMY LEUNG, Aziz Massomipour, and Omar Abdel-Fatah Al-Shishani, were also indicted in the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, and charged with a conspiracy involving the same kind of counterfeit cashier's checks distributed by LEUNG and his co-defendants in Nevada. Those charges are pending.

LEUNG is facing maximum terms of imprisonment of five years on the Conspiracy charge; 10 years on the Counterfeited Securities charge; 15 years on the Fraudulent Use and Possession of Identification Documents charge; and 30 years on the Bank Fraud charge. He is also facing fines of up to $250,000 on each count of conviction.

JIMMY LEUNG is in custody. He is scheduled to be sentenced at 10:00 a.m. on April 5, 2004, before U.S. District Judge Larry R. Hicks.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the United States Secret Service and Detectives with the Criminal Intelligence Section/Homeland Security Bureau of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Gregory Damm.

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