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Brooklyn resident and two russian nationals charged in sanctions-evasion scheme

November 1, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace announced the arrest of a Brooklyn resident and two Russian nationals for their involvement in a scheme to evade U.S. export controls and sanctions.Photo: Andrew Harris/AP
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Federal authorities have arrested a tri-national trio involved in a far-reaching scheme to export sensitive, dual-use electronic components from the U.S. to Russia. The electronics have been discovered in a range of Russian military equipment used in Ukraine.

Yury Goltsev and Maria Puzyreva are both dual Russian and Canadian nationals residing in Montreal, Canada. Goltsev has been an account manager at Electronic Network, a Canada-based company that was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Commerce in February 2023. 

The third defendant, Karim Nasriddinov, is a dual national of Tajikistan and Russia who resides in Brooklyn. Nasriddinov is also a published author with a doctorate in integrated systems and other technologies.

In a case overseen by the U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom, the U.S. authorities arrested Goltsev, Nasriddinov and Puzyreva earlier Tuesday on charges that they orchestrated a sophisticated scheme to evade U.S. export controls and sanctions. The multi-year operation involved illicitly acquiring and shipping U.S.-origin electronic components with military applications to Russia.

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The electronic components were listed as “Tier 1” items by the Department of Commerce, indicating their high-level security concern.

“As alleged, the defendants evaded sanctions, shipping equipment to Russia vital for their precision-guided weapons systems, some of which has been used on the battlefield in Ukraine,” said Breon Peace, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.


The Scheme

Nasriddinov and Goltsev would purchase these components from U.S. companies and unlawfully ship them to other countries, including Turkey, Hong Kong and India, before rerouting them to Russian end users. Some of these intermediary companies appeared to have no other business than receiving shipments from SH Brothers.

Goltsev often used aliases in communications with U.S. companies, misleading them about the true nature and destination of the goods. Nasriddinov handled logistics, receiving deliveries at Brooklyn addresses, repackaging and shipping them abroad. Financial and travel records indicate that Nasriddinov also made frequent trips to Russia.

In text message exchanges, the defendants discussed the logistics openly. “If you have people in Moscow, we can also meet and discuss the scheme so that they would pick up from Moscow,” Nasriddinov said to Goltsev, who agreed that it might be “easier to do through the US.”


Financial Gains

The scheme was evidently lucrative. In one text message, Nasriddinov boasted about SH Brothers’ success, “It’s time to move forward onto the stock exchange and stock market, capital should be in the billions.” To which Goltsev responded, “pushing components to those who need it I can do, everything else you will have to teach me.”

Financial records showed that large deposits corresponding with the defendants’ trips were made into New York-based accounts, later transferred to accounts in Canada. About $700,000 was wired into an SH Brothers account from a Hong Kong-based company as part of an order for a sanctioned Russian entity.


Arrest, Seizure and Bail

Upon their arrest, $20,000 in cash was recovered from Goltsev and Puzyreva, as well as dozens of boxes containing thousands of semiconductors were recovered from Nasriddinov’s Brooklyn residence.


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