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Justice News

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

Friday, August 28, 2020

Three Men Sentenced In Money Laundering, Identity Theft Scheme

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the sentencing of VLADIMIR VALENTINOVICH CHEVTAYEV, 44, to 26 months in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering. CHEVTAYEV, who was sentenced on August 25, 2020, pleaded guilty on January 25, 2019, to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. CHEVTAYEV is the third man to be sentenced as part of a money laundering conspiracy used to defraud financial institutions through an elaborate auto-financing scheme.

Co-defendant RUSLAN FURMAN, 45, who pleaded guilty on January 13, 2019, was sentenced on May 29, 2020 to 24 months in prison for aggravated identity theft. Co-defendant THOMAS POPLAR, 46, who pleaded guilty on October 2, 2018 to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, was sentenced on August 17, 2020, to 37 months in prison. All three defendants were sentenced by Judge Susan Richard Nelson in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota.

From 2013 through 2016, CHEVTAYEV, an officer at All Auto Care, an auto repair business located in Hopkins, Minnesota, conspired with FURMAN, POPULAR and others to defraud financial institutions out of money through an elaborate auto-financing scheme. All Auto Care had a dealership license that permitted it to buy and sell vehicles at auto auctions in the State of Minnesota. As part of the scheme, the vehicles were “sold” by CHEVTAYEV, and others through All Auto Care to a Dodge dealership located in Gurnee Illinois, where POPLAR and FURMAN worked. CHEVTAYEV, FURMAN, POPLAR and others committed the fraud by applying for fraudulent vehicle financing using deceased buyer’s names, stolen identities, or by paying people for the use of their information to buy luxury vehicles. Often times, the vehicles financed were involved in accidents, were not worth the amount financed, or did not actually exist. After receiving the loan proceeds, the conspirators made a nominal number of “lulling” payments to make the loans appear legitimate when in actuality the men laundered the funds through various bank accounts they controlled. 

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Plymouth, Minnesota Police Department, and the Gurnee, Illinois Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorney Julie E. Allyn prosecuted the case.

Defendant Information:


Plymouth, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to commit money laundering, 1 count


  • 26 months in prion
  • $456,157.77 in restitution (split jointly)
  • 2 years supervised release



McHenry, Illinois


  • Conspiracy to commit money laundering, 1 count


  • 37 months in prison
  • $543,973 restitution (split jointly)
  • 2 year supervised release



Deerfield, Illinois


  • Aggravated Identity Theft, 1 count


  • 24 months in prison
  • $298,644 restitution (split jointly)
  • 1 year supervised release




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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600



Identity Theft
Updated August 28, 2020