Cypriot National Sentenced to Prison for Money Laundering
A Cypriot national was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for 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 Brian D. Boyle of the Drug Enforcement Administration (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 IRS’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement.
Esam Sakkal, 40, a national of Cyprus, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to 27 months time served and ordered to pay forfeiture of $19, 248. In April 2018, Sakkal pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy and two counts of laundering of monetary instruments.
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.
An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
At the plea hearing, Sakkal admitted that on numerous occasions between 2009 and 2016, the Sakkals met with a U.S. undercover law enforcement agent posing as a member of a drug organization whose role was to launder money from drug sales. Sakkal admitted that in 2014, he advised his brother Nabeel on methods to transport cash obtained from an undercover agent, which was subsequently laundered by the Sakkals through wire transfers to the United States. Sakkal also admitted that he attempted to launder approximately €1 million euros he believed to be the proceeds from illegal drug sales when he met with an undercover agent in Warsaw, Poland in April 2016. 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.
Trial Attorney Randall Warden of the Justice Department’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Linda Ricci of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit prosecuted the case.