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Press Release

Sherman Oaks Man Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements to Grand Jury

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Raz Razla, 49, of Sherman Oaks, pleaded guilty last Friday to making false statements to the grand jury, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, Razla testified falsely before a grand jury in the Eastern District of California on March 1, 2018, regarding his co-defendant, Yaniv Gohar, 36, formerly of Berkeley. Gohar had led an organization that installed and maintained video slot machines at businesses open to the public across Northern California, and he had also laundered the proceeds of his gambling business. Gohar was arrested on Dec. 8, 2017, released over the government’s objection, and escaped from the United States by charter jet.

According to court documents, Razla testified falsely that he had only learned of the charge against Gohar for conducting an illegal gambling enterprise after Razla received the subpoena to the grand jury. Razla’s false testimony was material to the grand jury’s investigation of whether Razla or his work colleagues had aided and abetted Gohar’s failure to appear or harbored or concealed him, as well as whether Razla or his work colleagues had known of the unlawful source of Gohar’s money when engaging in real estate transactions and attempted real estate transactions on his behalf.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice – Bureau of Gambling Control. Assistant U.S. Attorney Miriam R. Hinman is prosecuting the case. Assistance was provided by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and Israeli authorities.

Co-defendant, Orel Gohar, 29, also fled the United States in Dec. 2017 and remains at large. Anyone with information about his whereabouts should call the Federal Bureau of Investigation at (916) 746-7000. The charges against Orel Gohar are only allegations; he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Co-defendant Yaniv Gohar was extradited from Israel, pleaded guilty in September to conducting an illegal gambling business, money laundering, and failure to appear, and awaits sentencing. Co-defendant Eran Buhbut, 34, of Oakland, pleaded guilty in August to conducting an illegal gambling business and awaits sentencing. Co-defendants May Levy, 28, of Walnut Creek, Atir Dadon, 35, of Sherman Oaks, Bar Shani, 27, of San Francisco, and Adam Atari, 36, of Sherman Oaks, have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced.

Razla is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 28, 2020. Razla faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence, however, will 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.

Updated December 10, 2019

Press Release Number: 2:17-cr-232 GEB