A Rego Park businessman was convicted of money laundering and bank fraud, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams announced Friday, Sept. 2.
Djonibek Rahmankulov was convicted by a federal jury on counts of money laundering conspiracy, bank fraud and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business. According to the superseding indictment and evidence at trial, between 2017 and Sept. 2020, Rahmankulov operated a network of shell companies that were used to launder millions of dollars of criminal proceeds from multiple types of criminal activity.
Rahmankulov worked with computer hackers who fraudulently gained control of the bank accounts of victims located across the United States and executed millions of dollars in fraudulent wire transfers into bank accounts opened by Rahmankulov and his co-conspirators.
In addition, Rahmankulov worked with a network of pharmacies engaged in Medicare and Medicaid fraud. These pharmacies submitted millions of dollars of fraudulent billing for HIV medications that they did not dispense or obtained illegally, including repurchasing medications from HIV patients who were Medicaid recipients. Rahmankulov created companies to receive these criminal proceeds from the pharmacies and laundered them through a variety of means, including using them to fund an unlicensed money transmitting business that illegally moved money to and from multiple countries, including Iran.
In 2020, Rahmankulov filed fraudulent applications for COVID relief loans from the Small Business Administration for multiple companies he controlled. He laundered the proceeds of loans and grants through these companies. Rahmankulov also made a number of materially false statements to financial institutions in connection with his money laundering schemes, both when opening bank accounts and when executing financial transactions with those bank accounts.
“Djonibek Rahmankulov exploited the United States financial system to launder millions of dollars of proceeds of fraud,” Williams said. “He lied repeatedly to banks in furtherance of his illegal money laundering enterprise. Yesterday, a jury found Rahmankulov guilty of his crimes, and he faces the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence.”
Rahmankulov is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 5 by U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams. He was convicted on one count of money laundering conspiracy, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years; one count of bank fraud, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 30 years; and one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.