Five Russian nationals were indicted on Wednesday in the Eastern District of North Carolina, according to a Department of Justice press release.
The five are charged with “federal crimes stemming from a bribery and kickback scheme, including money laundering, immigration fraud, and a subsequent murder for hire plot.”
Leonid Teyf, 57, his now divorced wife Tatyana, 41, and their circle of co-conspirators had their $5 million gated mansion, adjacent to the golf course at Raleigh’s North Ridge Country Club, raided earlier this month by the FBI.
If convicted of crimes against the U.S., and after serving 10-20 years behind bars, they likely would be removed from the country, indicating that they have no claim to U.S. citizenship.
Their removal will likely be of interest to the Russian government because the source of their wealth is stolen Russian money that was supposed to be used to supply the Russian military, says the DOJ:
“…between 2010 and 2012, Leonid Teyf was the Deputy Director of Voentorg, a company which contracted with Russia’s Ministry of Defense to provide the Russian military with goods and services. Leonid Teyf arranged for subcontractors in Russia to fill the various services required by Voentorg’s contract. Leonid Teyf and others devised a scheme requiring the subcontractor to agree that a certain percentage of the government funds it would receive for completion of the work would be paid back to Leonid Teyf and others involved in the scheme. These kickbacks of government funds were paid in cash and amounted to more than $150 million over an approximate two-year span. “
Co-conspirators then helped the Teyfs launder money through a complex international banking scheme that also involved U.S. banks and a Russian trucking company located in Illinois.
Teyf and another associate are additionally charged with lying on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) applications for a visa, and for the naturalization of another of their circle of defendants.
In early 2018, and according to a local media report, Teyf believed his wife was having an affair with his Russian housekeeper’s son.
First, using someone he thought was a friend (an undercover FBI agent), he sought help in getting the son removed from the U.S. (the son is apparently here illegally and living in Ohio).
As the deportation process was taking too long, Teyf then attempted to hire someone to kill the son. According to the DOJ indictment, he paid a “confidential source” $25,000 to kill the man before the end of 2018.
The US government is now seeking to seize more than $39 million in assets, including the mansion, four Mercedes-Benz sedans, and valuable artwork.
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Anna Marie Bolton is a reporter for Battleground State News.
Background Photo “Courtroom” by Clyde Robinson. CC By 2.0.