Tuesday, May 28, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Confirmed Liberty Reserve Closed as $6 BILLION Money Laundering Operation

People who visit Liberty Reserve domain and all of the other domains related to Arthur Budovsky today will be greeted by a huge warning sign:

Or in text form "this domain name has been seized by the United States Global Illicit Financial Team"

URGENT UPDATE: At least 5 of the 7 principals have been arrested in a multi-nation operation.

URGENT UPDATE: And the Feds have indeed released an indictment against 7 people, including Arthur Budovsky, as 6 BILLION DOLLAR money laundering scheme.
The charges, which include conspiracy to commit money-laundering, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business, were confirmed this morning by the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
Liberty Reserve founder Arthur Budovsky was using the aliases “Eric Paltz” and “Arthur Belanchuk,” according to the indictment.
Co-conspirators, according to the indictment, include Vladimir Kats, also known as “Ragnar”; Ahmed Yassine Abdelghani, also known as “Alex”; Allan Esteban Hildago Jimenez, also known as “Allen Garcia”; Azzeddine El Amine; and Mark Marmilev, also known as “Marko.”
Marmilev also is known as “Mark Halls” and “Maxim Chukharev,” according to an affidavit that accompanies the indictment.
Liberty Reserve and its co-conspirators “intentionally created, structured, and operated Liberty Reserve as a criminal business venture, one designed to help criminals conduct illegal transactions and launder the proceeds of their crimes,” according to the indictment.

Mark Marmilev, i.e. Chukharev, had been arrested in Puerto Rico and is likely to be extradited to the US to face charges, according to earlier news out of Puerto Rico. Arthur Bukovsky had been taken into custody in Spain earlier. It is not known if others had been taken into custody, but likely. Kats is believed to be in the US, while Ahmed Yassine Abdelghani and Allan Esteban Hildago Jimenez are in Puerto Rico and may have also been taken into custody, but so far Puerto Rican authorities have only confirmed that "Chukarev" was taken into custody.

Here's the indictment itself:


Reuters is reporting that 5 principals have been arrested in the US, Spain, and Puerto Rico, two are still at large in Puerto Rico.

In addition to Budovsky, who was arrested in Spain along with his deputy, Azzedine El Amine, co-founder Vladimir Kats was arrested in Brooklyn, New York. Two technology designers, Maxim Chukarev and Mark Marmilev, were also arrested, Chukarev in Costa Rica and Marmilev in New York.
Two more company employees were still at large in Costa Rica according to officials: Ahmed Yassine Abdelghani and Allan Esteban Hidalgo Jimenez. According to the indictment, almost all of the men used the alias, Eric Paltz.
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