Former Belmont County attorney sentenced to 5 years in prison for stealing more than $800,000 from elderly victim with dementia
CINCINNATI – A Miami, Fla. man pleaded guilty to conspiring in a racketeering enterprise to defraud individuals through moving companies located throughout the United States.
Andrey Shuklin, 33, entered his guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati today.
Shuklin was one of 12 defendants indicted in July 2018. According to court documents, the defendants operated and worked through several affiliated moving companies to enrich themselves by stealing from customers who hired them to move their household goods.
The enterprise executed their scheme through various moving companies in Florida, Ohio, Maryland, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, California, Connecticut, Colorado and Missouri. Approximately 1,000 customers have been identified as victims.
Shuklin admitted to participating in the scheme from April 2013 through July 2018. The defendant was the owner of affiliated moving companies and worked out of the enterprise’s main business offices in Florida.
One of the enterprise’s warehouses was in West Chester, Ohio, and some of the identified victims reside in the Southern District of Ohio.
As part of the conspiracy, the defendants would provide customers with low binding estimates to do their move, promising to beat their competitor’s prices. After the customers agreed to hire the moving companies, employees of the moving companies would load the customers’ goods onto the truck and then the price of the move would be bumped. Co-conspirators would use an inflated cubic footage for the price of moving the customers’ goods.
Shuklin tracked the “actual” or “real” cubic footage for customers’ goods and charged customers based on the fraudulently inflated price.
Identified victims of the moving companies fraud lost more than $1.5 million total.
Shuklin pleaded guilty to one count of participating in the racketeering conspiracy, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Congress sets the maximum statutory sentence. Sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the Court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Andrea Kropf, Regional Special Agent-in-Charge, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT); and Chris Hoffman, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, announced the plea entered into today before U.S. District Judge Douglas R. Cole. Assistant United States Attorneys Megan Gaffney Painter and Matthew C. Singer are representing the United States in this case.
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