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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Florida Man Sentenced On Money Laundering Charge

Forfeits Nearly $10 Million Generated by Illegal Gambling Business

ALBANY, NEW YORK - Philip Gurian, 52, of Boca Raton, Florida, was sentenced today in United States District Court in connection with his previous guilty plea to conspiracy to commit money laundering, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian, Andrew W. Vale, Special Agent-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Albany Division, and Toni M. Weiracuh, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division, New York Field Office. United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino sentenced Gurian to time served, to be followed by supervised release for 3 years, and to pay a $100,000 fine. Gurian had been incarcerated since his arrest on April 10, 2013. As part of his plea agreement and sentence, Gurian also forfeited a total of about $9,974,307.

A co-defendant, Michele Lasso-Barraza, 30, of Parkland, Florida, was sentenced to probation earlier this month in connection with her role in the gambling enterprise and money laundering conspiracy. She forfeited her interest in $8 million and was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine. Lasso-Barraza, a Panamanian citizen, was also deported as a result of her conviction.

Gurian operated a large-scale illegal gambling business using internet websites which allowed bettors to place thousands of wagers from the capital area of New York, Florida, Indiana, California, Texas, and Nevada. Gurian and Lasso-Barraza laundered in excess of $8 million generated from the illegal gambling business by causing wire transfers to offshore accounts in Panama, Andorra, and the Cayman Islands. Some of the offshore accounts were in the names of sham entities and corporations created by Lasso-Barraza on behalf of Gurian.

Gurian was charged as the result of a joint investigation initiated by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, and joined by the Albany County District Attorney’s Office, the Saratoga District Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service- Criminal Investigation, the Broward County Money Laundering Task Force, and the office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert A. Sharpe.

Updated January 29, 2015