Washington Man Sentenced to 90 Months for Identity Theft Scheme Spanning Idaho and Several Western States
BOISE – On March 21, 22, and 23, 2023, five family members were sentenced to prison for their conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit trademarked goods, in connection with their online sale of counterfeit cellphones and accessories, announced U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit.
On August 1, 2022, a jury found Pavel Babichenko, Piotr Babichenko, Timofey Babichenko, David Bibikov, and Mikhail Iyerusalimets, guilty after a three-month trial.
Pavel Babichenko, Piotr Babichenko, Timofey Babichenko, David Bibikov, and Mikhail Iyerusalimets operated a multi-million dollar scheme wherein they sold counterfeit cellphones and cellphone accessories on Amazon.com and eBay.com that the defendants misrepresented as new and genuine Apple and Samsung products. The counterfeit cellphones and cellphone accessories were obtained in bulk from manufacturers in Hong Kong, repackaged in the Treasure Valley, and then individually resold to consumers online as genuine and new.
“My Office is committed to protecting Idaho consumers, businesses, and the public from fraud of all types,” said U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit. “The convictions, sentences, and financial recovery in this case reflects our ability to work with our law enforcement partners to take down large-scale and long-term fraud enterprises that cross borders.”
“These sentencings are a result of HSI’s dedication to protect the U.S. economy and intellectual property by investigating schemes that threaten the global economy,” said Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest. “I commend the agents at HSI and our law enforcement partners at FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, IRS-CI, U.S. Marshals Service, the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Boise Police Department, and the Meridian Police Department for the years of work that led to this outcome.”
“These sentencings are the result of law enforcement’s unrelenting work to dismantle transnational criminal organizations,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Cheyvoryea Gibson of the Salt Lake City FBI. “With strong partnerships in Idaho and around the world, the FBI stands firm in combatting those who attempt to defraud U.S. citizens and U.S. companies for their financial gain.”
Senior U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill sentenced Pavel Babichenko to 72 months in federal prison, a $21,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. Judge Winmill further entered a $33,708,700.30 forfeiture money judgment against Pavel Babichenko.
Piotr Babichenko was sentenced to serve 48 months in federal prison, a $10,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. A $3,316,882.40 forfeiture money judgment was entered against him.
Timofey Babichenko was sentenced to serve 48 months in federal prison, a $10,500 fine, and three years of supervised release. A $9,230,196.82 forfeiture money judgment was entered against him.
David Bibikov was sentenced to serve one month in federal prison, nine months of home detention, and three years of supervised release. A $4,710,207.11 forfeiture money judgment was entered against him.
Mikhail Iyerusalimets was sentenced to serve two months in federal prison, nine months of home detention, and three years of supervised release. A $953,411.95 forfeiture money judgment was entered against him.
A future hearing will determine restitution and repayment of public defender attorney fees.
U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the cooperative efforts of the joint investigation led by the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations, along with IRS-Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Marshals Service. These federal agencies were joined in the investigation by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, the Boise Police Department, and the Meridian Police Department.
This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
Public Information Officer