Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ABDURAMAN ISENI, a/k/a “Diamond,” pled guilty today to eight counts of criminal conduct, including overseeing a multi-year racketeering enterprise, interstate threats, money laundering, bank fraud conspiracy, false statements to a bank, and two gambling conspiracy offenses. ISENI pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter, to whom the case is assigned.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As he admitted today, Abduraman Iseni led a network of underground gambling establishments to prop up a criminal enterprise under his control. Iseni engaged in a series of additional crimes, including money laundering, threatening a victim with physical violence, and defrauding and lying to banks in an effort to receive money to which he was not entitled. Thanks to the hard work of our partners at the FBI, Iseni stands convicted of numerous offenses and awaits sentencing for his years of crime.”
According to the Indictment, public court filings, and statements made in court:
ISENI oversaw a racketeering enterprise referred to in the Indictment as the “Diamond Enterprise.” The Diamond Enterprise was an organized criminal group operating under ISENI’s direction. ISENI offered his protection, connections, and substantial influence in the criminal underworld to other members of the racketeering enterprise, in exchange for a share of their illegal profits. The Diamond Enterprise thrived in part on the revenues generated by a network of illegal gambling parlors – “Sports Café,” “Friendly Café,” and “Oasis Café” – located throughout Brooklyn that hosted underground poker games and hosted illegal sports books. Some of these revenues, in turn, were laundered through a series of bank accounts in an effort to conceal and facilitate the Enterprise’s continued operations.
In addition to the Enterprise’s operations, ISENI separately admitted to threatening a victim with physical violence, and a host of additional crimes, including money laundering, bank fraud conspiracy, and making false statements to a bank for the purpose of inducing the bank to release funds to which ISENI was not entitled.
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ISENI, 56, of Staten Island, New York, is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Carter on January 18, 2022, at 3:30 p.m. Under the terms of his plea agreement, ISENI also agreed to pay forfeiture of $349,000.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding work of New York FBI’s Balkans and Middle East Organized Crime Squad. He also thanked the FBI’s Newark Office, the New York City Police Department, the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, the Small Business Administration Office of the Inspector General, the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, the New York State Liquor Authority, and United States Customs and Border Protection for their investigative efforts and ongoing support and assistance with the case.
The prosecution of this case is being overseen by the Office’s Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samuel L. Raymond and David R. Felton are in charge of the case.