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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 2, 2015

Sacramento Man Sentenced To 41 Months In Prison For Structuring Financial Transactions

Leonid Yakovlev Withdrew In Cash the Proceeds of a Credit Card Fraud Scheme

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Leonid “Leo” Yakovlev, 43, of Sacramento, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge William B. Shubb to 41 months in prison for structuring financial transactions to avoid bank reporting requirements, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, between April 2008 and August 2008, Yakovlev permitted the use of his bank account in a fraudulent credit card scheme in which thousands of American Express customers were charged fees ranging from $11 to $100, purportedly for “business services” provided by an entity called “24Hour.” During that period, Yakovlev controlled a bank account in the name of 24 Hour Corp. As a result of the fraudulent scheme, nearly $1 million was deposited in Yakovlev’s bank account. Yakovlev withdrew a total of approximately $230,000 from the account by making multiple cash withdrawals in smaller amounts in an effort to ensure the bank would not file mandatory currency transaction reports for the withdrawals.

When sentencing Yakovlev, Judge Shubb observed that Yakovlev was “responsible for misappropriating the identities of approximately 20,000 individuals.  Every time one of those individuals got charged for something they didn’t do, they were violated.  You caused that.  You understood it was wrong because you carefully made your withdrawals” to avoid the reporting requirements. 

“The defendant structured his transactions to hide the true source of his money,” said José M. Martínez, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation.  “Currency report information filed by banks and financial institutions provides a paper trail, or roadmap, for investigations involving financial crimes.  IRS-CI will continue to pursue individuals who deliberately break up cash transactions to avoid the filing of CTRs and to conceal their illegal acts.”

This case was the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Jean M. Hobler and Brian A. Fogerty prosecuted the case.
Press Release Number: 
Docket #: #:  2:12-CR-52 WBS
Updated April 8, 2015