New York Jeweler Guilty of Laundering Money from Richmond Jewelry Heists
NEWPORT NEWS, VA—Slavik Hayimov, aka Steve Hayimov, 44, of Queens, New York, pleaded guilty today to charges related to laundering the proceeds of a sophisticated jewelry theft ring.
In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Hayimov conspired with a jewelry theft ring that was based in Richmond. The thieves regularly conducted lengthy surveillance on jewelry stores to identify vulnerable individuals and then followed their targets to their hotels or homes. In most of the robberies, several men would suddenly appear as the victims approached or entered their car, punch out the car’s windows, threatened the victims at knife-point and would steal the victims’ merchandise. In addition, the robbers would puncture the victims’ car tires and steal their cell phone to reduce the chance of pursuit or apprehension. The theft ring ultimately stole more than $5 million in jewelry from victims in Virginia and at least six other states.
According to court documents, after a successful robbery members of the ring would travel to New York to sell the merchandise to Hayimov. Knowing that the merchandise was stolen, Hayimov paid far less than fair market value for the jewelry. To conceal his and the theft ring’s activities, he paid for the stolen merchandise in cash and by making anonymous bank deposits. Members of the group used the funds provided by Hayimov to purchase investment properties and pay for expenses they incurred while committing crimes.
Hayimov was indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 18, 2014. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on Feb. 26, 2016. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Charles E. Smith, Special Agent in Charge of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division; and John S. Adams, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric M. Hurt and Trial Attorney Adam L. Small of the Organized Crime and Gang Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.
The case was investigated by the ATF and FBI-Norfolk, with assistance from Virginia police departments in Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, Henrico County, Chesterfield, Prince William County, Fairfax County, and the Virginia State Police. Additional assistance was provided by police departments in Baltimore County, Maryland; Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; New York City Police Department; Rutherford Police Department, New Jersey; and Gwinnett County Police Department, Georgia. Also assisting was the Morris County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:12-cr-00039.