Four Men Plead Guilty In International Counterfeit Currency Conspiracy
Over $80 million in counterfeit U.S. currency passed or seized globally
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Itzhak Loz, 47, and Ronen Fakiro, 47, both of Rishon Le Zion, Israel, along with brothers Arkadiy Bangiyev, age 37, of Rego Park, New York, and Eduard Bangiyev, age 39 of Forest Hills, New York, have all pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy involving multiple acts of counterfeiting of U.S. currency and money structuring.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Joseph Clancy, Acting Director of the United States Secret Service, made the announcement after the pleas were accepted by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady.
According to court documents filed in this case, Loz, Fakiro, and the Bangiyev brothers participated in a criminal enterprise that engaged in multiple acts involving counterfeiting of U.S. currency and money structuring. From 2004 through 2014, the Bangiyevs distributed counterfeit high-quality $50 and $100 federal reserve notes that were manufactured in Israel and the United States by Itzhak Loz and others through the off-set printing process. Beginning around January 2014, Fakiro and Loz imported into the United States from Canada and Israel numerous printing presses and machines. They shipped this printing equipment to a warehouse they purchased in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, to manufacture counterfeit $100 notes. At the New Jersey warehouse, Fakiro and Loz manufactured over $2.56 million worth of counterfeit $100 notes. In addition, Fakiro and Loz were in the process of counterfeiting the $100 note released in October 2013 at the New Jersey warehouse, including certain security features for the $100 note, including watermarks, security thread simulations and blue 3-D ribbons. In May 2014, the U.S. Secret Service seized approximately $2.56 million worth of counterfeit $100 notes from a storage unit leased by Loz in New York. According to the United States Secret Service, over $86 million in counterfeit U.S. currency linked to this organization have been passed or seized by law enforcement globally since 1999.
Loz, Fakiro and the Bangiyev brothers were indicted by a federal grand jury on August 7, 2014. Loz will be sentenced on May 15, 2015. Fakiro will be sentenced on May 8, 2015. The Bangiyevs will be sentenced on May 1, 2015. All four face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly R. Pedersen and Gordon L. Kromberg are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.