Airline Executive Pleads Guilty in Money Laundering Case


A New Jersey-based airline exceutive pled guilty to participating in a money laundering conspiracy involving proceeds of heathcare fraud channeled through his employer's bank account.

Shukhratjon Mirsaidov was  Head of Marketing and Commerce Development at Uzbekistan Airways with a hub at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. 

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “For years, Shukhratjon Mirsaidov used his position as an executive for an international airline to participate in a complex scheme to launder the proceeds of healthcare fraud.  While all forms of money laundering are pernicious, such conduct is particularly severe when it involves executives at major businesses abusing their positions to launder the proceeds of fraud.  This case demonstrates that money launderers – no matter what their station – will be held accountable by this Office.”  

According to allegations in the Indictment, the criminal Complaint, public filings, and statements made in court:

In the course of the money laundering conspiracy charged in the Indictment, Mirsaidov used a U.S. company bank account for Uzbekistan Airways to operate a check-cashing scheme and to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars of healthcare fraud proceeds.  As a senior executive, Mirsaidov was one of two signatories for the Uzbekistan Airways Bank Account.  

Between approximately June 2019 and August 2021, Mirsaidov deposited into the Airline’s Bank Account over 100 checks drawn from accounts controlled by seven shell companies that were used to launder the proceeds of healthcare fraud.  

For example, the shell companies had received insurance payments for medical services purportedly provided by a doctor, but the doctor did not, in fact, provide such services.  The shell companies were primarily funded by payments from medical clinics, physicians, and medical diagnostic testing companies and had no relation to the airline industry.  

Mirsaidov obtained the checks from the shell companies from his co-defendant, Shukrat Abdullaev  In exchange for the checks, Mirsaidov provided cash generated from Uzbekistan Airways ticket sales to Abdullaev to give to the perpetrators controlling the shell companies.

Mirsaidov not only used the Uzbekistan Airways Account to launder healthcare fraud proceeds from the shell companies, but also used the account to launder funds represented to be fraud proceeds in a series of sting transactions.  

Between approximately June 2021 and February 2022, law enforcement, with the assistance of a confidential source (“CS-1”), conducted a series of sting money laundering transactions involving Mirsaidov, Abdullaev, and the Airline's Bank Account.

CS-1 asked Abdullaev to cash checks and transmit funds abroad and agreed to pay Abdullaev a four percent fee to do so. Abdullaev told CS-1 a portion of the fee went to Mirsaidov.  During the transactions, CS-1 represented to Abdullaev that the funds were healthcare fraud proceeds.  

Overall, CS-1 provided Abdullaev with 14 checks totaling $210,000 issued from a covert law enforcement account held in the name of a fictitious company. Mirsaidov, working with Abdullaev, deposited 12 of the checks totaling $190,000 into the Airline's Bank Account.  

CS-1 received cash from Abdullaev in exchange for the checks, and in one instance, Abdullaev coordinated the delivery of U.S. currency to an individual abroad in exchange for some of the checks.  

During the course of these sting transactions, in a recorded conversation with CS-1, Mirsaidov admitted, in sum and substance, that he received many checks from Abdullaev and that Mirsaidov gave Abdullaev cash in exchange for the checks.  

CS-1 informed Mirsaidov, in sum and substance, that the checks from CS-1 came from a medical company and that the company disguised the check payments in its financial reporting by claiming the check deposits were for business class flight tickets. Mirsaidov nevertheless expressed a willingness to work directly with CS-1 to conduct check cashing using the Uzbekistan Airways Bank Account.        

Mirsaidov, 46, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  As part of his guilty plea, Mirsaidov agreed to forfeit to the U.S. $674,171, as well as funds seized from the Uzbekistan Airways Bank Account. 


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