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Press Release

Ukrainian National Charged with Acting as Courier in Scheme that Stole More Than $200k from Victim

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

CLEVELAND -  A Ukrainian national, whose last known address was in New York, was charged on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in a one-count indictment with acting as a money courier for scammers who stole more than $200,000 from a victim in Brunswick, Ohio.

Taras Semuso, 33, was officially charged with one count of wire fraud.

According to court documents, from June 2022 to August 2022, the victim was contacted by a member of the conspiracy claiming to be a government agent and that the victim’s bank accounts had been compromised.  It is alleged that the conspirator then informed the victim that they were required to provide United States currency to an undercover agent, later identified as the defendant, to keep the victim’s bank account funds safe.

Court documents state that the victim and the defendant then met on several occasions in which the victim provided the defendant with more than $200,000 in cash.  Court records allege that the defendant collected the money from the victim, used a cell phone to send confirmation to co-conspirators that the money was collected and provided the cash to other co-conspirators.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after a review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal records, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Cleveland FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Colleen Egan.

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Contact

Daniel Ball

Daniel.Ball@usdoj.gov 

Updated December 1, 2022

Topics
Financial Fraud