Aleksander Efrosman Extradited from Poland Following Joint Investigation by the United States, Panama, Austria, Czech Republic and Poland
Aleksander Efrosman, a U.S. citizen who had been living in Krakow, Poland, was extradited to the United States Friday evening to face mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering charges contained in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Brooklyn on February 16, 2006.1 Efrosman was arraigned on Saturday morning before United States Magistrate Judge Andrew L. Carter at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, and ordered detained. The defendant’s initial appearance before United States District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis is scheduled for Wednesday, August 10, 2011, at 10:00 A.M.
The indictment and extradition were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, and Ronald J. Verrochio, U.S. Postal Inspector-in-Charge, New York Division.
As alleged in the indictment and a detention letter filed by the government, from January 2004 through June 2005, Efrosman defrauded investors by soliciting investments purportedly for the purpose of trading in the stock market and the foreign currency exchange (“forex”) market. Efrosman falsely told investors that he had a history of profitable trading and that the investments would be protected by a “stop-loss”mechanism which ensured that no trade lost more than 3%. Based on these misrepresentations, Efrosman received over $5 million from more than 100 investors. Efrosman did not invest the funds as promised, but instead used the funds for his personal benefit, including gambling over $3 million at the Foxwoods Casino.
As detailed in the government’s filings with the court, in 2005, Efrosman fled the United States with millions of dollars of investors’ funds, first traveling to Cozumel, Mexico, then to Panama and ultimately to Poland, assuming the identity of “Mikhail Grosman” and using a high-quality fraudulent Russian passport. In the meantime, federal agents in the United States developed leads in Eastern Europe. In a coordinated multinational effort, law enforcement authorities in Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland tracked and ultimately arrested Efrosman in Krakow, Poland, on May 28, 2010.
“This defendant allegedly created a web of lies to fleece unsuspecting investors. He thought that his lies and a false identity would allow him to evade the consequences of his actions. He was wrong. Through the combined efforts of law enforcement on three continents, the defendant was identified, pursued and successfully apprehended,” said United States Attorney Lynch. “He will now be held to account for the charged crimes.” Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Department of State and law enforcement authorities in Canada, Panama, Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland for their assistance.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Fedarcyk said, “In an open society, national borders pose little or no obstacle to determined criminals. That’s why international cooperation among law enforcement agencies is essential, both in solving crimes and in apprehending those who commit them. This defendant is now in custody because of that kind of cooperation.”
Postal Inspector-in-Charge Verrochio said, “I would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for its relentless pursuit of the defendant. This case illustrates that alleged fraudsters can hide, but the Postal Inspectors and the FBI will never give up their search.”
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of the funds the defendant obtained through the charged fraud.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Spector.
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