Russian man allegedly launders $150 million through US banks to buy gold bullion

A Russian man named Feliks Medvedev was indicted for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and 39 counts of money laundering, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.

Medvedev is a Russian citizen accused of making transactions in excess of $150 million in a series of 1,300 transfers. He allegedly registered eight different companies in Buford, Georgia, and Dacula, Georgia, to complete the money transfers.

“Medvedev allegedly used the American banking system to illegally transmit more than $150 million,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “These types of criminal actions pose a serious danger to the integrity of our financial system.”

“Money laundering is not a victimless crime,” said FBI special agent in charge Keri Farley, adding, “The FBI is committed to the fight against money laundering and to find those who are trying to hide right in our own backyard and illegally send cash overseas.”

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The companies did not maintain any employees, nor did they generate typical business expenses. The money was allegedly found to have been used to purchase more than $65 million in overseas gold bullion.

The 41-year-old’s case isn’t the only banking fiasco to happen recently. A late April 2023 Department of Justice announcement detailed how cigarette companies were allegedly skirting U.S. banking laws.

From 2007 to 2017, British-American Tobacco Marketing Singapore and parent company British American Tobacco allegedly received approximately $418 million through a third-party company in Singapore. The company accepted payments from North Korean entities and transferred money to the other companies.

Authorities stated that approximately $74 million in financial transactions were made through U.S. banking institutions. The transfers turned a profit of more than $700 million for companies, of which one was owned by the North Korean military, according to the DOJ.

As well, in January 2023, a former FBI agent and senior official for counterintelligence operations in New York was charged along with a former diplomat of the Soviet Union. The two were accused of conspiring to commit money laundering as well as one count of money laundering.

Both were also allegedly trying to avoid U.S. sanctions.

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