Three Defendants Charged In Organized Crime Money Laundering Scheme – Department of Justice

Audrey Strauss, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Aaron C. Rouse, Special Agent in Charge of the Las Vegas Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging YOSEF COHEN, a/k/a “Joe,” VAGUE SHAGENOVICH TERGALSTANYAN, a/k/a “Vahe,” a/k/a “Vic,” and IGAL BEN HANAN with conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

TERGALSTANYAN and COHEN were arrested and presented in California on July 9, 2021, and July 12, 2021, respectively, and will be arraigned in Manhattan federal court at a later date.  BEN HANAN was arrested on July 12, 2021, and will be presented later today in Nevada.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, the defendants conspired to launder millions of dollars of illicit proceeds.  Thanks to the hard work of the FBI, the defendants face serious federal charges.”

FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Aaron C. Rouse said: “This case is an outstanding example that demonstrates the strength of the FBI’s partnerships with national and international law enforcement.  The FBI takes pride in combating the most dangerous crime organizations in the world.  This should be a wake-up call to criminals that regardless of where they think they can hide, the FBI and our partners will find them and bring them to justice.” 

According to the allegations in the Indictment:[1]

COHEN, TERGALSTANYAN, and BEN HANAN worked on behalf of organized criminal enterprises operating in several countries around the world.  In recorded conversations with undercover law enforcement officers (the “UCs”) who represented themselves to be members of an international organized criminal enterprise that distributed narcotics and laundered money, the defendants planned money laundering transactions of narcotics proceeds and discussed moving tens of millions of dollars of illicit money on behalf of international criminal organizations.  The

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