Salamanca man pleads guilty to bank fraud, money laundering
A Salamanca man who operated phony debt restructuring businesses that defrauded about 20 area small businesses of about $1.2 million pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering charges, before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Sergiy Bezrukov, 35, formerly of Queens, faces a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison when sentenced July 24.
Prosecutors said Bezrukov and others sent solicitation letters under fictitious names, offering small businesses assistance with restructuring high interest loans. After the business owners agreed to hire Bezrukov’s phony company, he and others would withdraw sums of money from the bank accounts of the businesses, but never repaid any loans on the businesses’ behalf.
– Harold McNeil