Nigeria: Court Extradites Ctizen to U.S. Over U.S.$30 Million Fraud

May 29, 2012

allAfrica.com on May 29, 2012 released the following:

“BY DAVIDSON IRIEKPEN

Justice James Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Lagos Monday granted the request of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), for one Mr. Godwin Chiedo Nzeocha, to be extradited to the United States of America to face criminal charges over an alleged $30 million Health Care Benefit Fund fraud.

Nzeocha, 54, worked with the City Nursing Services in Houston, Texas, US as a Physical Therapist Aide between 2007 and 2009.

In US, he was alleged to have conspired with others and submitted claims worth $45 million to the Medicare and Medicaid for health care services on behalf of some patients who were beneficiaries of the health insurance claims.

Nzeocha and his accomplices were paid $30 million but failed to remit the funds to the beneficiaries.

Consequently, he was dragged before a US District Court in the Southern District of Texas, Houston by the US Department of Justice on October 19, 2009 for offences bordering on conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, money laundering and mail fraud.

Rather than face his trial, Nzeocha fled to Nigeria. In his ruling, Justice Tsoho agreed with the prosecution that the extradition application was competent and that the alleged offences which are the basis of the extradition request are returnable offences.

He therefore ruled that accused be extradited to US to face trial within a period of one month. Nzeocha was arrested in June 2011 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following a petition from the Legal Attaché to the US Consular Office, Lagos, on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Part of his extradition charges read: “Conspiracy to commit health care fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, carrying penalty on conviction of a fine of up to $250,000, or imprisonment of not more than ten (10) years, or both; supervised released of not more than three years; a special assessment of $100.00 for each convicted offence.”

• Indictment with health care fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347, carrying penalty on conviction of a fine of up to $250,000, or imprisonment of (10) years, or both; supervised released of not more than three (3) years; and a special assessment of $100.000 for each convicted offence.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Nigeria here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Manhattan U.S. Attorney and FBI Assistant Director in Charge Announce Extradition of Russian Citizen to Face Charges for International Cyber Crimes

January 17, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on January 17, 2012 released the following:

“Nine-Count Indictment Charges Defendants with Stealing Personal and Financial Information and Stock Market Manipulation

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the unsealing of a nine-count indictment charging VLADIMIR ZDOROVENIN and his son, KIRILL ZDOROVENIN, two Russian citizens, with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, computer fraud, aggravated identity theft, and securities fraud. They were indicted under seal in May 2007. VLADIMIR ZDOROVENIN was apprehended on March 27, 2011, in Zurich, Switzerland, and arrived in New York yesterday following his extradition by Swiss authorities. He will be presented and arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein in Manhattan federal court later today. KIRILL ZDOROVENIN remains at large.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Cyber crime is a pandemic that makes geography meaningless. From far away, with the click of a mouse, the cyber criminal can victimize millions of people in the U.S. As alleged, Vladimir Zdorovenin and his son did exactly that; they engaged in serial cyber crimes in Russia that targeted Americans and wrought havoc with their personal and financial information, using it to make phony purchases and to manipulate stock prices. As the unsealing of today’s Indictment demonstrates, we will reach out across the globe, and wait as long as it takes to bring cyber criminals to justice.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk stated: “Mr. Zdorovenin’s egregious behavior illustrated the true colors of the cyber underground, as he and his son allegedly defrauded consumers of hundreds of thousands of dollars using methods that included compromised credit cards, all fronted through fictitious companies they had created. In addition, Zdorovenin allegedly installed malware to access victims’ brokerage accounts, trading victims’ securities and manipulating the price of stocks Zdorovenin already owned. This should serve as a stark reminder to anyone who believes he can commit cyber crime and hide behind the safety and anonymity of a Russian IP address; you are not beyond the reach of the FBI.”

According to the indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

At various times between 2004 and 2005, VLADIMIR ZDOROVENIN and his son KIRILL ZDOROVENIN allegedly engaged in a series of crimes in Russia that victimized citizens of the United States through the use of stolen credit card information, multiple phony websites, and bank accounts in Russia and Latvia. Specifically, the indictment alleges that the ZDOROVENINs stole victims’ personal identification information, including credit card numbers, through the use of computer programs that were surreptitiously installed on victims’ computers and that recorded the information as it was entered. The ZDOROVENINs also allegedly purchased stolen credit card numbers from other individuals, and used the stolen credit card information to make what appeared to be legitimate purchases of goods from various Internet businesses that they ran. However, as alleged, the purchases were fraudulent and were used as a means of deceiving banks, credit card service processors, credit card holders, and others, thereby enabling the ZDOROVENINS to steal the money they directed to their websites.

Additionally, as alleged in the indictment, the ZDOROVENINs, used the Internet to unlawfully access the financial services accounts of victims located in the United States and then transferred or attempted to transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars from those accounts to bank accounts under the ZDOROVENINs’ control. Finally, the Indictment charges that after taking over victims’ online brokerage accounts, the ZDOROVENINs bought and sold thousands of shares of certain companies’ stock in an effort to manipulate the prices of those stocks. The ZDOROVENINs allegedly realized profits through this scheme by simultaneously purchasing or selling shares of the same stocks through their own online brokerage account, maintained in the name of Rim Investment Management, Ltd.

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VLADIMIR ZDOROVENIN, 54, of Moscow, Russia, faces a maximum sentence of 142 years in prison in connection with the charges in the indictment. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI. He also thanked the Office of International Affairs in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division for its assistance with the extradition.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James J. Pastore, Jr. and Thomas G.A. Brown are in charge of the prosecution.

The charge and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Aleksander Efrosman Extradited from Poland Following Joint Investigation by the United States, Panama, Austria, Czech Republic, and Poland

August 8, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 8, 2011 released the following:

“Aleksander Efrosman, a U.S. citizen who had been living in Krakow, Poland, was extradited to the United States Friday evening to face mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering charges contained in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Brooklyn on February 16, 2006.[1] Efrosman was arraigned on Saturday morning before United States Magistrate Judge Andrew L. Carter at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, and ordered detained. The defendant’s initial appearance before United States District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis is scheduled for Wednesday, August 10, 2011, at 10:00 a.m.

The indictment and extradition were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office; and Ronald J. Verrochio, U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge, New York Division.

As alleged in the indictment and a detention letter filed by the government, from January 2004 through June 2005, Efrosman defrauded investors by soliciting investments purportedly for the purpose of trading in the stock market and the foreign currency exchange (“forex”) market. Efrosman falsely told investors that he had a history of profitable trading and that the investments would be protected by a “stop-loss” mechanism which ensured that no trade lost more than 3 percent. Based on these misrepresentations, Efrosman received over $5 million from more than 100 investors. Efrosman did not invest the funds as promised, but instead used the funds for his personal benefit, including gambling over $3 million at the Foxwoods Casino.

As detailed in the government’s filings with the court, in 2005, Efrosman fled the United States with millions of dollars of investors’ funds, first traveling to Cozumel, Mexico, then to Panama and ultimately to Poland, assuming the identity of “Mikhail Grosman” and using a high-quality fraudulent Russian passport. In the meantime, federal agents in the United States developed leads in Eastern Europe. In a coordinated multinational effort, law enforcement authorities in Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland tracked and ultimately arrested Efrosman in Krakow, Poland, on May 28, 2010.

“This defendant allegedly created a web of lies to fleece unsuspecting investors. He thought that his lies and a false identity would allow him to evade the consequences of his actions. He was wrong. Through the combined efforts of law enforcement on three continents, the defendant was identified, pursued and successfully apprehended,” said United States Attorney Lynch. “He will now be held to account for the charged crimes.” Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Department of State and law enforcement authorities in Canada, Panama, Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland for their assistance.

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Fedarcyk said, “In an open society, national borders pose little or no obstacle to determined criminals. That’s why international cooperation among law enforcement agencies is essential, both in solving crimes and in apprehending those who commit them. This defendant is now in custody because of that kind of cooperation.”

Postal Inspector in Charge Verrochio said, “I would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for its relentless pursuit of the defendant. This case illustrates that alleged fraudsters can hide, but the Postal Inspectors and the FBI will never give up their search.”

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of the funds the defendant obtained through the charged fraud.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Spector.

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The Defendant:
ALEKSANDER EFROSMAN
Age: 49”

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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