High Ranking UN Official Sentenced To Prison For Money Laundering

LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that VLADIMIR KUZNETSOV, 50, was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 51 months’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit money laundering. On March
2, 2007, KUZNETSOV was found guilty by a jury, after less than an
hour of deliberation. Prior to his arrest, KUZNETSOV served as
Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and
Budgetary Questions at the United Nations and was the highestranking
Russian diplomat at the United Nations. According to the
evidence at trial:

From 2000 through June 2005, KUZNETSOV laundered over
$300,000 in criminal proceeds obtained by a co-conspirator,
ALEXANDER YAKOVLEV, who served as a procurement officer at the
United Nations. The funds laundered by KUZNETSOV were the
proceeds of a fraudulent scheme perpetrated by YAKOVLEV.
Specifically, in 2000, YAKOVLEV established an off-shore company,
Moxyco, Ltd., to facilitate the illicit and secret payment of
money to him by, among others, foreign companies seeking
assistance in securing contracts to provide goods and services to
the United Nations. From 2000 to June 2005, YAKOVLEV accepted
over one million dollars generated by this criminal scheme.
In early 2000, YAKOVLEV informed KUZNETSOV of the
fraudulent scheme. Rather than report YAKOVLEV’s conduct to law
enforcement authorities or to the United Nations, KUZNETSOV
agreed with YAKOVLEV that YAKOVLEV would transfer a share of the
proceeds from this scheme to KUZNETSOV for KUZNETSOV’s own
benefit. During KUZNETSOV’s trial, YAKOVLEV testified that he
gave KUZNETSOV this money, in part, to fund KUNETSOV’s purchase
of a home in Russia. To facilitate and hide the transfer of
criminal proceeds from YAKOVLEV’s Moxyco account, KUZNETSOV
established his own off-shore company, Nikal, Ltd. KUZNETSOV
also opened a bank account in the name of Nikal, Ltd. at Antigua
Overseas Bank Limited, the same bank at which Yakovlev had
previously opened an account for Moxyco, Ltd. Thereafter, from
2000 to June 2005, YAKOVLEV transferred over $300,000 in criminal
proceeds to KUZNETSOV via the Nikal account.]

In addition to the term of imprisonment, United States
District Judge DEBORAH A. BATTS ordered KUZNETSOV to serve a term
of 2 years of supervised release and to pay a fine of $73,671.
Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative work of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. GARCIA also thanked the
United States Department of State and the United States Mission
to the United Nations for their cooperation and invaluable
assistance. In addition, Mr. GARCIA thanked the United Nations
Office of Legal Affairs and Office of Investigative Oversight
Services for their cooperation.

Assistant United States Attorneys STEPHEN MILLER and
EDWARD O’CALLAGHAN are in charge of this prosecution.
07-249 ###

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