Three New York Men Sentenced to Prison for Elaborate Scheme to Sell Illegally Imported Drugs

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Plastic packet with cocaine powder or another drugs in mans hand. Close-up macro photo.

PITTSBURGH, PA – Three New York state residents were sentenced in federal court on Friday to terms of imprisonment on their convictions for participating in a complex Bank and Wire Fraud conspiracy, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

United States District Judge David Stewart Cercone imposed the following sentences on the following individuals:


• 38-month term of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release on Devan Abrams, age 40, of West 37th Street, New York, New York;


• 38-month term of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release on Azad Khizgilov, age 47, of Dahlgren Place, Brooklyn, New York; and


• 28-month term of imprisonment followed by two years of supervised release on Roman Shaulov, age 54, of Shore Parkway, Brooklyn, New York.

According to information presented to the court, including in a public filing, for years these defendants enriched themselves by leading a massive and sophisticated fraud scheme that facilitated the black-market importation and sale of tens of millions of dollars of dangerous and addictive prescription medications and controlled substances. In summary, they established and ran a business that, through a series of misrepresentations, misled various credit card companies into processing credit card transactions for purchases of drugs that were illegal to be sold in the United States. These drugs were often imported from Russia, China, India, and other countries. The complex scheme involved front companies, fake websites, and a tangled web of bank accounts.

“Committing fraud was the full-time job of these defendants,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kaufman. “They manipulated friends and even family members to serve as owners of front companies, they had a cadre of employees whom they supervised and trained to commit fraud, and they created and executed a complex scheme that allowed them, for years, to deceive sophisticated financial institutions. Now they have been held accountable for their criminal actions.”


“When prescription drugs from outside FDA’s secure supply chain enter the U.S. marketplace, patients are put at risk. The risk is even greater when the criminals disguise the purchase of these unlawful drugs to avoid detection,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark S. McCormack, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Metro Washington Field Office. “We will continue to pursue and bring to justice those who engage in illegal conduct that undermines the safety of the US drug supply.”

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway prosecuted this case on behalf of the


government.

Acting United States Attorney Kaufman commended the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, Pennsylvania State Police and United States Postal Inspection Service for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of these defendants.

 

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