US banks used to launder funds in illicit gold scheme, Russian national indicted

A US federal grand jury has indicted a Russian national who allegedly used the American banking system to illegally transmit more than US$150 million, of which US$65 million was used to illicitly purchase overseas gold bullion.

Feliks Medvedev has been indicted on 39 counts of money laundering and one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Shell companies

According to US attorney, Ryan Buchanan, the indictment, and other information presented in court, Medvedev allegedly registered eight companies in the US state of Georgia that were used to transmit over US$150 million in a series of 1,300 transactions.

But the companies did not generate typical business expenses or maintain employees. The money was used, in part, to purchase more than US$65 million in overseas gold bullion. Medvedev, a Russian citizen who resides in North Georgia, allegedly transferred millions overseas from multiple bank accounts in Georgia.

Money laundering red flags

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly probing eight Georgia-based companies registered by Medvedev, through which he allegedly transferred millions overseas.

The companies are headquartered in Georgia, do not show business expenses on their books, nor do they maintain employees on their payrolls, according to the Organised Crime Corruption Reporting Project.

It reports the US attorney’s office as saying these points are “red flags for money laundering activity.”

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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