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Press Release

Final Defendant Sentenced on Federal Conspiracy Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri
For Trafficking in Contraband Cigarettes and Money Laundering

St. Louis, MO – Yakov Pisman, was sentenced to 87 months in prison for conspiring to traffic in contraband cigarettes and money laundering.

According to court documents, Pisman and others conspired for more than four years to buy contraband cigarettes in St. Louis, Missouri and Atlanta, Georgia, low tax markets, and transport and distribute them in New York, a high tax market.  Multiple New York and St. Louis residents and co-defendants including Oleksandr Zyuz, Sergei Kishchenko, Mykalo Zyuz, Volodymr Zyuz have been sentenced to terms ranging between 30 to 60 months imprisonment.  Illegal profits from the contraband cigarette sales were laundered through numerous accounts associated with the defendants and their fictitious companies. The amount of laundered money was in excess of $56 million dollars. Pisman was one of the leaders of the organization and guided the operations in St. Louis, Atlanta and New York. 

Pisman, 60, of New York, NY, pled guilty on February 21, 2018, 2018 to two felony counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering and trafficking in contraband cigarettes.  He appeared today for sentencing in front of U.S. District Judge Ronnie White.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and various state and local authorities.

Updated June 25, 2018