MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office Minnesota district office announced that the third and final person involved in a scheme to commit identity theft and money laundering has been sentenced to more than two years in prison.
Forty-four-year-old Vladimir Chevtayev was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy in January.
The attorney’s office says he was one of three who defrauded financial institutions through a scheme involving auto financing. The other two — 45-year-old Ruslan Furman and 46-year-old Thomas Poplar — were sentenced earlier in the summer. The former was sentenced to two years in prison for aggravated identity theft, and the latter was sentenced to just over three years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Investigators say Chevtayev worked at an auto repair business in Hopkins, and worked with the other two (who worked at a Dodge dealership in Gurnee, Illinois) on the scheme. The Hopkins business had a dealership license allowing it to buy and sell vehicles at auctions.
The attorney’s office says the three applied for fraudulent financing using dead buyer’s names, stolen identities, or paying people to use their information to buy luxury vehicles. Sometimes the vehicles being financed were damaged, not worth the amount financed, or didn’t even exist.
The three are accused of laundering funds through a number of bank accounts.