Brothers Sentenced in $2 Million Fraud Scheme
Earlier today, Amner A. Borukhov, also known as “Alex Amner Borukhov” and “Avner Borikhov,” was sentenced to 57 months of imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, following his plea of guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Last month, his brother, Markiel Borukhov, also known as “Mark Borukhov,” was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment, to be followed by one year of supervised release, following his plea guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. The sentences were imposed in federal court in Central Islip, New York, by United States District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein. As part of their sentences, Judge Feuerstein ordered Amner Borukhov and Markiel Borukhov to pay restitution and forfeit approximately $2.2 million and $622,000, respectively.
The sentences were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and George Venizelos, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office.
“The defendants conned investors who were seeking to buy precious metals by using lies and deception to steal millions of their precious investment dollars,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “When federal law enforcement began to close in on them, the defendants felt the heat and fled to Morocco, where they hid for over a year. But they soon learned what should serve as a lesson to all criminals: you can run, you can hide, but you cannot escape justice.” Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to Moroccan authorities for Morocco’s cooperation and assistance with the extradition and successful prosecution of this case.
FBI Assistant Director in Charge Venizelos stated, “Instead of running a legitimate business, the defendants stole money by marketing bogus precious metals to unwitting investors. The long arm of the law stretched all the way to Morocco as the defendants found. This is the latest example of what happens when you steal and cheat from others to get ahead.”
According to court filings and facts presented during the court proceedings, between May 2009 and January 2011, the defendants induced approximately 60 investors to give them more than $2.2 million by promising to use their money to purchase palladium and other precious metals. The defendants, however, never gave those investors the metals that they promised to purchase, nor did they return any money to those individuals. Instead, the defendants used those funds to pay their personal expenses. In furtherance of their fraudulent scheme, the defendants used aliases and falsely told prospective investors that they were in a partnership with Jim Cramer, who hosts an investment program on CNBC called Mad Money.
In early 2011, the defendants learned that they were being investigated by the FBI. As a result, they bought one-way plane tickets to Casablanca, Morocco. They lived in Morocco for approximately 14 months while the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and the Office of International Affairs worked with Moroccan authorities to locate, arrest, and return the defendants to the United States so that they could be prosecuted for their crimes. In May 2012, Moroccan authorities located and arrested the defendants. Months later, the defendants were returned to the United States, where they have been in custody ever since. On October 9, 2013, the defendants pleaded guilty.
The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Caffarone. The Office of International Affairs in the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division provided assistance in this case.
This prosecution was the result of efforts by President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants. For more information on the task force, visit stopfraud.gov.
AMNER A. BORUKHOV
- Also known as “Alex Amner Borukhov” and “Avner Borikhov”
- Age: 34
- Residence: Great Neck, New York
- Also known as “Mark Borukhov”
- Age: 30
- Residence: Brooklyn, New York