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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Cypriot National Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

BOSTON – A Cypriot national pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to money laundering.

Esam Sakkal, 40, a national of Cyprus, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy and two counts of laundering of monetary instruments. U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for July 10, 2018. In June 2017, Sakkal and his brother,  Nabeel Sakkal, a/k/a Traycho Marinov Mitchov, a/k/a Nabil Cieckal, a/k/a Nabil Imadein Bazul Siggal, a dual national of Cyprus and Jordan, were indicted. Nabeel Sakkal remains a fugitive.

According to court documents, on numerous occasions between 2009 and 2014, the Sakkals met with a United States undercover law enforcement agent posing as a member of a drug organization whose role it was to launder money from drug sales. According to court documents, the Sakkals laundered money given to them by the undercover agent, believing the money to be proceeds from drug sales.  

The charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and laundering monetary instruments provide for a sentence, as to each count, of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England Division; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Ricci, Chief of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit, and Trial Attorney Randall Warden of the Justice Department’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, are prosecuting the case. 

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Updated April 10, 2018