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Israeli Leader of Fake Currency Group to Spend 15 Years in Jail

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Israeli citizen Itzhak Loz, a leader of a group that had produced more than $70 million in counterfeit US dollars, has been sentenced to 180 months in prison, US Justice Department said in a press release.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Justice Department also ordered Loz to forfeit $20 million as well as a New Jersey warehouse that served as a base for the counterfeiting operation, among other assets.

Al Jazeera television journalist Baher Mohamed walks to the dock before hearing the verdict at a court in Cairo, Egypt, August 29, 2015 - Sputnik International
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"Itzhak Loz… was sentenced today to 180 months in prison for leading a RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations] conspiracy involving multiple acts of counterfeiting and money structuring," the press release read on Friday.

The criminal enterprise operated in Israel and the United States between 2004 and 2014, smuggling about $3 million worth of fake dollars every three months.

The criminal group concealed counterfeit currency inside shipping containers with machinery heading from Israel to the United States, according to the press release.

A US federal grand jury indicted Loz, among the group’s 12 co-conspirators, in August 2014. All of the defendants pleaded guilty.

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