Four Los Angeles Residents Indicted for Operating Illegal Gambling Business and Conspiring to Launder Money

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A three-count indictment was unsealed yesterday charging four defendants in connection with an illegal gambling business and conspiracies to launder the proceeds of the illegal gambling business, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

The indictment charges Los Angeles residents Gal Yifrach, 35, with operating an illegal gambling business and conspiracy to commit money laundering; Nick Shkolnik, 39, with operating an illegal gambling business; and Shalom Ifrah, 32, and Schneur Zalman Getzel Rosenfeld, 33, with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to court documents, Yifrach, Shkolnik, and Yosef Yitzchak Beshari, who was charged elsewhere, conducted an illegal gambling business involving video slot machines and devices and bets, in the Eastern District of California and elsewhere. Yifrach and Ifrah conspired to launder the proceeds of the illegal gambling business in multiple ways, including by exchanging the cash for checks, exchanging the cash for casino chips, and conducting cash exchanges of no more than $10,000 at banks to avoid transaction reporting requirements. Rosenfeld is charged with conspiring with Beshari to launder the proceeds of the illegal gambling business in multiple ways, including by providing checks, direct deposits of purported salary, and a wire transfer to an escrow company, all in exchange for cash from the gambling business.

All four defendants were arrested yesterday. Yifrach and Ifrah have been detained pending trial. Shkolnik and Rosenfeld have been released subject to pretrial supervision and other conditions. 

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice – Bureau of Gambling Control. Assistant U.S. Attorney Miriam R. Hinman is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Yifrach and Shkolnik each face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conducting an illegal gambling business. In addition, Yifrach, Ifrah, and Rosenfeld each face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, or twice the value of the monetary instrument or funds involved, whichever is greater, for conspiracy to commit money laundering. The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of assets, including over $500,000 in U.S. Currency and three real estate properties in Los Angeles. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.