Debt Restructuring Scammer Sergiy Bezrukov Pleads Guilty To Money Laundering And Bank Fraud
Sergiy Bezrukov pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering last week for operating a debt restructuring scheme. He’s facing a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
The debt restructuring scammer had two offices in the Western New York area to operate fraudulent debt restructuring businesses.
Bezrukov and others sent solicitation letters under fictitious names offering small businesses with restructuring high-interest loans. Bezrukov and others would withdraw sums of money from the clients’ bank accounts but never repaid any of the business’s loans on their behalf. When the small business owners would inquire about the status of the restructuring, they would receive no response from Bezrukov or the bogus company.
Bezrukov’s operation in Salamanca, NY got the attention of law enforcement who launched an investigation. As a result, federal search warrants were executed on Bezrukov’s office, home, vehicle, and person. Hidden in computer hard drives, officers found and seized approximately $393,000 in cash. Law enforcement also seized a check for $729,000 dollars. In addition, law enforcement seized checks, gift cards, and quantities of cash from the operation. In total, law enforcement seized more than $1,400,000 from Bezrukov.
Bezrukov’s debt restructuring scheme scammed approximately 200 victims out of approximately $1,200,000.
Co-conspirator Mark Farnham was previously convicted for his involvement in the debt restructuring scheme and is awaiting sentencing.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector-in-Charge Joseph W. Cronin of the Boston Division; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Jonathan D. Larsen, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge; and Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 24, 2019, at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Vilardo.