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U.S. Identifies Russians Detained On Fraud, Money-Laundering Allegations

The U.S. Justice Department has made public the identities of four Russian citizens arrested by the FBI in New York on suspicion of money laundering and collusive fraud.

Department spokeswoman Nicole Navas Oxman told RFE/RL on August 6 that Russian nationals Kirill Dedusev, Aleksei Livadny, Nikolai Tupikin, and Stanislav Lisitsky had been arrested last week.

The citizenship of a fifth suspect arrested last week, Maksim Suverin, was not specified.

In a July 24 statement, the Justice Department listed Dedusev, Livadny, Tupikin, and Lisitsky among 25 people, mainly from former Soviet republics, who were charged with involvement in a multimillion-dollar wire-fraud and money-laundering scheme.

According to prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, the criminal group consisted of seven citizens of Russia, five citizens of Georgia, four citizens of Azerbaijan, three from Kazakhstan, two from Latvia, two Ukrainian nationals, and individuals with U.S. and Turkish citizenship.

Meanwhile, on August 7, Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Aibek Smadyarov said that tree Kazakh nationals, all women whose identities were not revealed, had been detained in the same case.

The Russian Embassy in Washington said it was aware of the four Russians' arrest, and that it was following the development of the situation closely.

The July 24 indictments say the suspects placed false ads about selling cars, and after clients deposited down payments, they disappeared. According to the indictments, the suspects created a number of shell companies through which they ran their fraudulent activities, stealing some $4.5 million from the victims.

If convicted, the suspects face up to 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit fraud and up to 20 years in prison for money laundering.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Kazakh Service
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