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Press Release

Sacramento County Men Indicted for Money Laundering Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a single-count indictment last week against brothers Denis Gutsu, 31, of Antelope, and Maxim Gutsu, 26, of Rancho Cordova, charging them with conspiracy to commit money laundering, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, between December 2017 and March 2019, Denis Gutsu and Maxim Gutsu bought gift cards for a national retailer from persons who had obtained the gift cards using stolen credit card numbers. The Gutsu brothers bought these gift cards at a significant discount and then, usually within a day, sold the gift cards to an online gift card exchange. The brothers agreed with the exchange to sell these gift cards at a discount. In return, the online exchange passed on the discount to buyers who would quickly spend the gift cards.  This sequence allowed the fraudulently obtained gift cards to be spent before the national retailer could void them due to fraud.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas M. Fogg is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Denis Gutsu and Maxim Gutsu each face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated October 31, 2023