Azimdzhon Mazhidov is accused of getting rich with a little help from his friends. He's among sixteen defendants from Russia and Tajikistan charged with stealing more than $300,000 from assorted banks. But they didn't use guns. Instead, according to an indictment on view below, they allegedly collected cash one bad check at a time.
The reported concept? A complex variation on check kiting involving multiple conspirators in far-flung locations, including Denver and Philadelphia. Take the accusations about Makhmadrizo Kholov. Back in April, the indictment states, someone using the name "Biloliddin Lashkarov" opened up a checking account in Bensonhurst Bay, New York. Then, over the next three months, Kholov transacted checks from two others through the Lashkarov account, including one for $4,600 that he deposited at a South Colorado Boulevard ATM in June. Problem is, all of the checks were eventually returned, unpaid. In the end, the New York bank lost around $7,200.
How did Mazhidov and company run up the total beyond three-hundred large? By doing pretty much the same thing 41 times, prosecutors say.
Look below to see mug shots of Mazhidov and two other people named in the indictment, as well as a Denver District Attorney's Office release and the entire indictment:
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Denver District Attorney's Office release:
16 INDICTED IN RACKETEERING CASE
A Denver Grand Jury has returned a 41-count indictment charging 16 people as part of a criminal enterprise accused of working together to steal money from several financial institutions over the last 15 months. The indictment, returned on November 10th, is the result of a Denver Police Department investigation and was unsealed yesterday.
Azimdzhon Mazhidov (dob: 07-22-88), Firuzi Sharifi (dob: 04-18-91), Bobokalon Sharipov (dob: 11-25-90) and Firdavsi Urunov (dob: 01-23-87) are accused of being the primary members of the criminal enterprise and are charged with violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA) (F2). They also face numerous other charges including theft, conspiracy to commit theft and criminal impersonation. Twelve other co-defendants are charged with similar counts.
The charges allege that the group opened and used numerous bank accounts with the intention of withdrawing cash from the accounts before the financial institutions were aware there were insufficient funds or closed accounts. Victims include Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase Bank, US Bank and Key Bank with losses of more than $300,000.
The defendants are from Tajikistan and Russia and have been arrested in Denver and Philadelphia In addition to facing criminal charges, they will face eventual deportation.
The Denver Police Department also worked with the Colorado Attorney General's Office, the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).