KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Three Russian men and a naturalized U.S. citizen have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their role in a conspiracy to use stolen identities to file thousands of fraudulent tax returns and send a large chunk of the income illegal to their co-conspirators in Russia.
Alexander Pavlov, 37, and Dmitrii Shenke, 35, citizens and residents of Russia; Anton Vikharev, 29, Russian citizen; and Stanuslav Lukyantsev, 34, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Kyrgyzstan residing in Philadelphia, Pa., were indicted in a 25-count indictment sealed by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Missouri on February 23 2021. This indictment was unsealed and made public today during Lukyantsev’s arrest and initial appearance in Philadelphia. Vikharev was arrested in Canada on June 4, 2021.
The federal indictment alleges that the four defendants participated in a conspiracy to defraud the United States by filing fraudulent federal tax returns using stolen identities. The tax returns called for fraudulent refunds, according to the indictment, which were deposited into accounts controlled by the conspirators at several banks in the United States. The co-conspirators are said to have withdrawn the proceeds from their fraudulent ATM cash scheme and then deposited the money into other bank accounts. They are said to have transferred much of the money by wire transfer to Pavlov, Shenke and Vikharev in Russia.
According to the indictment, the co-conspirators filed 7,167 false and fraudulent tax returns for the 2011 to 2016 tax years. The returns claimed $ 11,178,361 in fraudulent refunds. The Internal Revenue Service paid at least $ 2,020,569 in fraudulent tax refunds, of which the conspirators transferred at least $ 1,411,082 to bank accounts in Russia.
In addition to the conspiracy, the indictment charges various defendants with 19 counts of wire fraud and five counts of money laundering.
The charges contained in this indictment are merely charges and not evidence of guilt. Evidence to support charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty it is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being pursued by US Assistant Prosecutors Kathleen D. Mahoney and Mary Kate Butterfield. He was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the US Postal Inspection Service.