Leader Of Miami Crew Sentenced To 63 Months In Prison For Defrauding Banks And Cryptocurrency Exchange Of More Than $4 Million
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that a jury returned a guilty verdict against DJONIBEK RAHMANKULOV on counts of money laundering conspiracy, bank fraud, and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business. RAHMANKULOV is scheduled to be sentenced on January 5, 2023, by U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Djonibek Rahmankulov exploited the United States financial system to launder millions of dollars of proceeds of fraud. He lied repeatedly to banks in furtherance of his illegal money laundering enterprise. Yesterday, a jury found Rahmankulov guilty of his crimes, and he faces the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence.”
According to the superseding indictment and the evidence at trial:
Between 2017 and September 2020, RAHMANKULOV operated a network of shell companies that were used to launder millions of dollars of criminal proceeds from multiple types of criminal activity. RAHMANKULOV worked with computer hackers who fraudulently gained control of the bank accounts of victims located throughout the United States and executed millions of dollars in fraudulent wire transfers into bank accounts opened by RAHMANKULOV and his co-conspirators. RAHMANKULOV received wire transfers into bank accounts he created and bank accounts he instructed others to create and laundered these proceeds through multiple additional bank accounts to prevent the victims and the banks from recovering the stolen funds.
In addition, RAHMANKULOV worked with a network of pharmacies engaged in Medicare and Medicaid fraud. These pharmacies submitted millions of dollars of fraudulent billing for HIV medications that they did not dispense or obtained illegally, including by repurchasing medications from HIV patients who were Medicaid recipients. RAHMANKULOV created companies to receive these criminal proceeds from the pharmacies and laundered them through a variety of means, including by using them to fund an unlicensed money transmitting business that illegally moved money to and from multiple countries, including Iran.
In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, RAHMANKULOV filed fraudulent applications for COVID relief loans from the Small Business Administration for multiple companies he controlled. He laundered the proceeds of loans and grants through these companies. RAHMANKULOV also made a number of materially false statements to financial institutions in connection with his money laundering schemes, both when opening bank accounts and when executing financial transactions with those bank accounts.
* * *
RAHMANKULOV, 34, of Queens, New York, was convicted on one count of money laundering conspiracy, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years; one count of bank fraud, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 30 years; and one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York Money Laundering Investigation Squad.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cecilia Vogel, Thane Rehn, and Samuel Raymond are in charge of the prosecution.