Boise, ID. – A multi-faceted, large-scale Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation has led to the federal indictment of ten defendants on fraud, money laundering and counterfeit goods trafficking charges, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced. The indictments were issued last week by a federal grand jury sitting in Boise.
The grand jury returned a thirty-four count indictment charging Pavel Babichenko, Gennady Babitchenko, Piotr Babichenko, Timofey Babichenko, Kristina Babichenko, Natalya Babichenko, David Bibikov, Anna Iyerusalimets, Mikhail Iyerusalimets and Artur Pupko with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit trademarked goods and money laundering conspiracy, all in connection with the online sale of counterfeit cellphones and accessories.
According to the indictment, the ten defendants operated a multi-million dollar scheme wherein they sold counterfeit cellphones and cellphone accessories on Amazon.com and eBay.com that the defendants misrepresented as new and genuine Apple and Samsung products. The indictment alleges that these counterfeit cellphones and cellphone accessories were obtained in bulk from manufacturers in Hong Kong, repackaged in the Treasure Valley, and then individually resold to consumers online as genuine and new. The indictment also alleges the defendants laundered millions of dollars in proceeds from the fraudulent scheme.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on the money laundering, wire fraud, and mail fraud counts. They face up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a $5,000,000 fine on the counterfeit trademark goods trafficking counts. Reference is made to the indictment and court record for further information. Additionally, anyone who believes they may be a victim may visit the Department of Justice’s large case website for more information: www.justice.gov/largecases.
“From the arrests, to the millions of dollars in assets forfeited, the law enforcement agencies who participated in this investigation were able to deliver a decisive blow to these criminal enterprises because of the excellent, collaborative, working relationships that exist here in Idaho, and our strong international partnerships with law enforcement around the world. Thank you to everyone who worked tirelessly over the last four years to secure these indictments and arrests.”
“Counterfeit products pose serious safety risks as they are often unregulated during manufacturing,” said Brad Bench, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Seattle. “This investigation represents HSIs commitment to protecting the public from criminals who are profiting to the detriment of their consumers.”
“The priority of the United States Postal Inspection Service is to investigate any crimes in which the U.S. Mail is utilized even if the scheme originally started over the phone or through the internet,” said United States Postal Inspection Service, Inspector in Charge Tony Galetti. “Our mission is to protect customers, business partners, and the Postal Service from illicit use of the mail. We will continue efforts to ensure the integrity and security of the United States Postal System and to hold accountable those who unlawfully take advantage of the Postal System. We would like to thank the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho for their incredible prosecutorial support throughout the course of this investigation. We also want to thank our federal law enforcement partners as well as our state and local partners for their dedication and collaborative efforts. The federal government is dedicated to dismantling sophisticated mail fraud schemes and the importation of counterfeit goods.”