News and Press Releases

Leader of Counterfeit Check Ring Sentenced to 175 Months in Prison

May 17, 2005

Las Vegas, Nev. - A California man who organized and led a group of individuals that traveled from southern California to Las Vegas for the purpose of cashing high-dollar counterfeit cashier's checks at a Las Vegas casino, has been sentenced to 175 months in federal prison, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

JIMMY LEUNG, age 35, of Los Angeles, California, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Larry R. Hicks, who also ordered LEUNG to pay a $3,600 fine and serve three years of supervised release. LEUNG was convicted by a jury on January 21, 2004, 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.

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 would 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 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. An additional check for $200,000 was recovered from one of the hotel rooms.

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 have been sentenced; and Nadery entered into a pretrial diversion program. The five other men who traveled to Las Vegas with LEUNG were not charged federally.

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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