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U.S. State Department and FBI classify investigation into case involving 16 Kazakhstanis

27 february 2014, 12:10
0
The U.S. State Department and FBI has classified the investigation into the case involving 16 Kazakhstan nationals accused of major fraud in the United States, Tengrinews reports citing the Foreign Ministry's International Information Committee Chairmen Zhanbolat Ussenov.

"The Kazakhstan Embassy in the United States is monitoring the issue and keeps in touch with the FBI and U.S. State Department. However, the case is classified and no information related to the case may be publicized until the investigation is over," Ussenov said.

In 2013 a total of 55 people were accused of tax and bank fraud through illicit schemes in the United States.

There are Russian, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan nationals and 16 Kazakhstan citizens among the accused.

Kazakhstan nationals involved in this massive case are among the 29 people accused by the largest indictment. It is related to a sophisticated fraud that involves theft of over two thousand identities and using them to request tax refunds from the U.S. tax department (IRS) worth over $17 million. The fraudsters filed two types of return papers: ones claiming refunds from fabricated gambling winnings and losses and others based on made-up salaries and withholdings. The tax authorities accepted only part of these applications and in the end transferred over $7 million to the criminals. Sometimes the payments were even issued in the names of dead people.

Most of the accused are young people from the post-soviet space who were visiting San Diego under J-1 and F-1 visas. According ot the investigators the criminal identity theft ring was led by Armenian nationals or Armenian-American. They used the young people coming to the U.S. on student visas because they did not stayed in the country long. The young people opened bank accounts and debit cards, rented the postal boxes, where IRS sent the tax refunds to. The students then passed the money to the criminals net of the agreed commissions. Some of the accused have since returned to their home countries.

All of the Kazakhstan nationals charged with the fraud are:

Stanislav Melnikov, 26
Renat Talanov, 25
Madlen Ospanova, 26
Meruyert Akhmetova, 37
Indira Akhmetova, 21
Vyacheslav Lazarev, 21
Yevgeniy Ivanov, 22
Zhassulan Shilikbay, 22
Ilyas Abdrakhay, 27
Yermek Dossymbekov, 23
Vyacheslav Tsoy, 25
Nurbek Akhmadiyev, 25
Alisher Omarov, 25
Ulan Zakirov, 22
Taiyr Zhuryn, 22
Yevgeniy Sotnikov, 29

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