Information for Victims in Large Cases
|Case Name||Familiar Names and Terms||District or Division||Overview|
|United States v. Emmanuel Hourizadeh and Raymond Nouvahian||Emmanuel Hourizadeh, Raymond Nouvahian, Amazon Marketplace, DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs||Antitrust Division||
Emmanuel Hourizadeh and Raymond Nouvahian engaged in a conspiracy to fix prices for DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs sold through the Amazon Marketplace platform to customers located throughout the United States. The charged conspiracy began at least as early as November 2017 and continued to on or about October 29, 2019.
|U.S. v. Morris Sutton||Morris Sutton, Amazon Marketplace, DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs||Antitrust Division||
Morris Sutton engaged in a conspiracy to fix prices for DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs sold through the Amazon Marketplace platform to customers located throughout the United States. The charged conspiracy began at least as early as November 2017 and continued to on or about October 29, 2019.
|United States v. Jared Davis||OptionMint, OptionKing, OptionQueen||USAO - Ohio, Northern||
Defendant owned and controlled various businesses, both in the United States and abroad, including Erie Marketing LLC with a principal place of business in Sandusky, Ohio. Though Defendant’s own role is disputed, it is alleged that those businesses engaged in a fraudulent binary options scheme using tradenames such as “OptionMint,” “OptionKing,” and, “OptionQueen.” These were neither licensed nor regulated and operated much differently from regulated exchanges. Defendant did not connect his investors to a legitimate binary options exchange that would match investors who chose different binary option outcomes. Instead, Defendant took the opposing position on each trade and thus only made money when investors lost their money, providing a built-in incentive to employ a variety of manipulative and deceptive practices. Victims were solicited through Internet marketing campaigns and international call centers. Victims were given accounts on fraudulent platforms and they paid foreign payment processors by credit card. More than $10 million in credit card payments were directed to Defendant’s companies. It is alleged there may be over 5000 individual victims involved in this scheme.
|United States v. Shuklin et al.||ANDREY SHUKLIN, SERGHEI VERLAN, PHYLLIS RICCI QUINCOCES a/k/a Faith Ashford, Grace Rubestello, Phyllis Ricci, Phyllis Ann, EVGENIA KUKUY a/k/a Jenny K, Evgenia Kukuv, VLADIMIR PESTEREANU a/k/a Vova, IEVGEN KAKIAKA a/k/a Eugene, AKHLIDDIN KALONOV, ROMAN IAKOVLEV, SANJAR FAYZIVEY, SERGEY BOCHAROV, JESSICA MARTIN a/k/a Emma Ricci, Mary Austin, SETH NEZAT a/k/a Andrew Johnson, Andrew Butler, Jason, Kyle Walker||USAO - Ohio, Southern||
A grand jury charged the defendants with participating in a criminal enterprise that operated thirteen different moving companies in multiple locations through the United States. The criminal enterprise enriched itself by defrauding, extorting, and stealing from customers who hired the moving companies to move their household goods. Specifically, the criminal enterprise lied to customers about the company's experience and record, provided low binding estimates to secure moving jobs, loaded the customers' household goods into moving trucks, and then illegally demanded money above the binding estimate based on fraudulent calculations of space used by the goods. Customers were required to pay falsely inflated prices to retrieve their possessions and, in some cases, never received their possessions at all. The criminal enterprise protected and perpetuated itself by concealing and misrepresenting the owners, operators, employees, and operations of their moving companies. This fraud was accomplished through a number of different means, including the preparation and submission to federal regulators and to third-party companies of documents containing false information and the use of fake drivers' licenses for the purported owners of the moving companies to further the criminal enterprise.
|U.S. v. Jonathan Donohue||USAO - Florida, Southern||
Jonathan Donohue controlled two websites from which he sold Distributed Denial of Service (“DDOS”) attacks. From January 10, 2017 through June 22, 2017, Donohue launched 179,951 DDOS attacks against 78,214 unique IP addresses.
|United States v. MATJAZ SKORJANC, FLORENCIO CARRO RUIZ, MENTOR LENIQI, And THOMAS KENNEDY MCCORMICK||Darkode||USAO - District of Columbia||
In December, 2018, the defendant McCormick, an American, and three others were charged by indictment with a racketeering conspiracy to develop and distribute malware through the major computer hacking forum known as Darkode. Arrest warrants are still outstanding for Skorjanc, a Slovenian national, Mentor Leneqi, a Serbian, and Florencio Ruiz, a Spaniard. The other foreign countries have declined to extradite the other three defendants to the U.S. for prosecution, but they remain fugitives from justice here in the United States.
Thomas McCormick, pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. The racketeering conspiracy charge includes conspiracy to commit bank, wire, and access device fraud, identity theft, hacking, and extortion.
|U.S. v. Glenn Arcaro; 21-CR-02542-TWR||BitConnect; Glenn Arcaro||USAO - California, Southern||
This case charges the defendant of participating in a massive conspiracy involving BitConnect, a cryptocurrency investment scheme, which defrauded investors from the Unites States and abroad of over $2 billion. The defendant admitted that he and others conspired to mislead investors about BitConnect’s purported technology, known as the “BitConnect Trading Bot” and “Volatility Software,” as being able to generate substantial profits and guaranteed returns by using investors’ money to trade on the volatility of cryptocurrency exchange markets. The BitConnect scheme is believed to be the largest cryptocurrency fraud ever charged criminally. According to the Information, these wire fraud crimes were committed in and around the Southern District of California, across the United States, and internationally.
|US v. Wilhan Martono (CityXGuide)||Wilhan Martono||USAO - Texas, Northern||
In June 2020, the website cityxguide.com (“CityXGuide”)—a leading source of online advertisements for prostitution and sex trafficking—was seized by Homeland Security Investigations pursuant to a warrant. Wilhan Martono, the creator, owner, and operator of CityXGuide, was charged in a 28-count indictment with promotion of prostitution and reckless disregard of sex trafficking, interstate racketeering conspiracy (facilitating prostitution), interstate transportation in aid of racketeering (facilitating prostitution), and money laundering. In August 2021, Martono pled guilty to Promotion and Facilitation of Prostitution and Reckless Disregard of Sex Trafficking in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2421A and Conspiracy to Engage in Interstate and Foreign Travel and Transportation In Aid of Racketeering Enterprises in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371.
Martono created, owned, and operated a network of websites, including CityXGuide, that posted hundreds of thousands of prostitution advertisements in locations across the United States and around the world. CityXGuide allowed pimps, prostitutes, and brothels to post and pay for advertisements that featured an explicit list of “intimate activities,” along with nude or partially nude photographs, a physical description, work hours, methods of payment, and contact information for the female being advertised.
Martono purchased the domain names of CityXGuide and its related websites, purchased and maintained the servers that hosted the websites, and purchased the server space, server equipment, and blocks of Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses—including more than 95 unique IP addresses—to operate the websites.
|United States v. Chirag Choksi et al.||Shehzadkhan Khandakhan Pathan, Pradipsinh Dharmendrasinh Parmar, Sumer Kantilal Patel||USAO - Virginia, Eastern||
Conspirators at an Indian call center used automated, previously recorded calls, commonly referred to as “robocalls,” to initiate contact with victims. These robocalls usually contained messages designed to create a sense of urgency with the call recipient, including threats of serious legal problems, usually criminal in nature, that required immediate action in order to avoid drastic consequences, including arrest and/or significant financial penalties. Victims would be instructed to stay on the line or to call a particular number. Eventually victims would speak with one or more live persons, who used a variety of scripts incorporating different fraud schemes to persuade victims to send money via wire money transfer and/or the mail or private interstate commercial carrier shipments.
|U.S. v. David Camp||David Camp, Amazon Marketplace, DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs||Antitrust Division||
David Camp engaged in a conspiracy to fix prices for DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs sold through the Amazon Marketplace platform to customers located throughout the United States. The charged conspiracy began at least as early as May 2018 and continued to on or about October 29, 2019.