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Press Release

Cypriot National Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Cypriot national pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston, Massachusetts to money laundering.

Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling for the District of Massachusetts, Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Ferguson of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New England Division; Special Agent in Charge Harold H. Shaw of the FBI Boston Field Division and Special Agent in Charge Kristina O’Connell of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) in Boston, made the announcement.

Esam Sakkal, 40, a national of Cyprus, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy and two counts of laundering of monetary instruments.  U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for July 10.  In June 2017, Sakkal and his brother, Nabeel Sakkal, aka Traycho Marinov Mitchov, Nabil Cieckal and Nabil Imadein Bazul Siggal, a dual national of Cyprus and Jordan, were indicted.  Nabeel Sakkal remains a fugitive.

At the plea hearing, Sakkal admitted his role in the charged criminal conduct, including that he advised his brother regarding methods to transport cash obtained from an undercover agent and that he attempted to launder money from drug sales when he met with an undercover agent in Warsaw, Poland.  Sakkal further admitted that he agreed to obtain money from the undercover agent, and agreed to cause the money to be wired to the United States.

The charges and allegations contained in an indictment are merely accusations.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.  

The investigation was conducted by DEA New England Division, FBI Boston and IRS-CI Boston.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Ricci, Chief of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit, and Trial Attorney Randall Warden of the Justice Department’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, are prosecuting the case. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs also provided significant assistance.

Updated April 16, 2018

Press Release Number: 18-437